Polish lawmaker demands Grass give up citizenship

August 14, 2006 19:00

A lawmaker from Poland's governing party demanded on Monday that Nobel laureate Guenter Grass renounce his honorary citizenship of the writer's hometown of Gdansk, saying no Polish city should honor a former member of Adolf Hitler's Waffen SS. Jacek Kurski, a lawmaker from the conservative Law and Justice party, spoke after Grass admitted in a newspaper interview published Saturday that he was called up at age 17 to a division with the Waffen-SS, the combat arm of Hitler's feared paramilitary forces. Former President Lech Walesa, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, also said Grass should voluntarily give up the honorary citizenship. "I have had the luck - as a Nobel winner from Gdansk - that we have never met. That has saved me from having to shake his hand," Walesa said in an interview in the Dziennik daily published Monday. "Today I would not shake his hand."

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