“Nobel Prize-winning German writer Guenter Grass, author of the great anti-Nazi novel The Tin Drum, has admitted serving in the Waffen-SS.
He told a German newspaper he had been recruited at the age of 17 into an SS tank division and served in Dresden.
Previously it was only known he had served as a soldier and was wounded and taken prisoner by US forces.
Speaking before the publication of his war memoirs, he said his silence over the years had “weighed” upon him.
“My silence over all these years is one of the reasons I wrote this book [Peeling Onions],” he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in an interview.
“It had to come out, finally.”
Grass, who was born in 1927, is widely admired as a novelist whose books frequently revisit the war years and is also known as an outspoken peace activist.”