cover image Two States--One Nation?

Two States--One Nation?

Gunter Grass, Kurt Wolff, Helen Wolff. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, $18.95 (123pp) ISBN 978-0-15-192270-3

Going against the tide, eminent German novelist-playwright Grass staunchly opposes German reunification in this collection of lashing speeches, essays and lectures. A reunified Germany, he warns, would be ``a colossus loaded with complexes,'' standing in the way of the political-economic integration of Europe. Pointing out that a unified Germany existed for only 75 years and brought unimaginable misery, war and genocide, he advocates a German confederation in which the two halves would ``share one cultural nationhood'' while preserving a separate political identity. Under this scheme, West Germany would assist East in a far-reaching econmic equalization. In a powerful, partly autobiographical piece, ``Writing After Auschwitz,'' Grass ponders the renewed arms race and concludes, ``We Germans have every reason to fear ourselves as a unit.'' His courageous polemic brings a much-needed historical perspective to a pressing issue. (Oct.)