The German author and former Nazi SS member who sparked a worldwide debate over his poem “What Must Be Said” and who was barred from Israel over the poem’s contents – which included a statement that Israel is a greater threat to global stability then Iran – has been admitted to a German hospital, reportedly after suffering a heart attack.
A hospital in Hamburg, Germany would not confirm details of the reason for Grass’s admittance but German media reports suggested a heart attack.
Grass’s poem, which was published in German but can be read in English, drew a response from Israel’s Prime Minister shortly after its publication
“The shameful comparison that Gunter Grass made between Israel and Iran, a regime which denies the Holocaust and calls for Israel’s destruction, says very little about Israel and a great deal about Mr. Grass,” said Benjamin Netanyahu.
After the Israeli government banned Grass’s travel to the Jewish state, he responded by likening the decision to ban him to something that would have happened in former East Germany.
The 84 year old hid his involvement in the Nazi SS for decades before revealing the truth.