Iran invites German Nobel Prize winner Gunter Grass to Fajr International Poetry Festival

Photo: Iran invites German Nobel Prize winner Gunter Grass to Fajr International Poetry Festival / Iran

Baku, Azerbaijan, March 18

By Temkin Jafarov, Saeed Isayev - Trend:

Iran has invited German novelist, poet, Nobel Prize winner, Gunter Grass to participate in the Fajr International Poetry Festival, Iran's Mehr news agency reported on March 18.

Grass is widely regarded as Germany's most famous living writer. In 1999 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 2006 Grass revealed that during the WWII he was up to the Waffen-SS (the elite military wing of the Nazi Party) at age 17, two years after he had been refused as a volunteer for submarine duty. He was wounded in battle and became a prisoner of war in 1945.

In 2012, Grass's poem "What must be said" ("Was gesagt werden muss") was published in several European newspapers. In the poem, Grass expresses his concern about the hypocrisy of German military support (the delivery of a submarine) for an Israel that might use such equipment to launch nuclear warheads against Iran, which "could wipe out the Iranian people", and thus involve his country in a foreseeable crime.

In the prose-written poem, Grass deplores the fact that Germany is furnishing Israel with a submarine capable of delivering nuclear bombs, and says no one in the West dares to mention Israel in connection with nuclear weaponry.

Aside from Grass, other writers and poets are expected to participate. Mehr reported that the festival expects three poets from Europe, three from Arabic countries, as well as writers from the U.S., France, Denmark, Sweden, Algeria.

Iran has scheduled various programs for this edition of the annual cultural event that will be held in the capital city of Tehran.

The participants in the year's literary event will contend in different categories such as 'Criticism and Research' section, 'Classic Poetry' section, 'Children and Young Adult' section and 'Modern Poetry' section.

Over 2000 poets from Iran and 15 other countries have taken part in last year's festival that was held in the Iranian southern island of Kharg located in the Gulf.

Iran holds the international Fajr poetry, film, theater, visual arts and music festivals every year to mark the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The eighth Fajr International Poetry Festival is programmed to be held in May, 2014.

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