Grass dismisses Israeli travel ban
CBS News

BERLIN — Guenter Grass says Israel's decision to bar him from visiting the country because of his poem criticizing the Jewish state reminds him of similar steps that dictatorial governments have taken against him.

Previously the German literature Nobel laureate has only been barred from entering a nation by then Communist-ruled East Germany and the military junta in Myanmar about 25 years ago, Grass said in a reaction piece published by German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Wednesday.

Grass, 84, said the tone of Israel's announcement on Sunday reminded him of the reasoning then given by spy minister Erich Mielke of East Germany, or GDR.

"The GDR has ceased to exist. Israel's government, however, as a nuclear power of uncontrolled scope, considers itself powerful on its own and is so far not open for admonitions. In Myanmar alone, there are seeds of hope," he wrote, referring to the Southeast Asian nation's recent political thaw.

recommended by Bavafa