Nobel Prize-winning author Gunter Grass faces critics after admitting he was part of Nazi Germany's notorious Waffen SS during World War II.
Grass, 78, told the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that his confession would feature in his autobiographical book Beim Hauten der Zwiebel (Peeling the Onion), which was due out on September 1st but it was already published this week due to the scandal, Deutsche Welle reported Monday.
He also recounts his attempt to join the Third Reich's submarine forces when he was 15, but was rejected because he was too young.
He said he was detached into the Waffen SS the next year but denied that he joined willingly.
I wanted to make clear once again what happened then and above all things concerning me, Grass told the publication. My silence for all these years is one of the reasons why I wrote this book. It had to come out.
About 130 thousands of the 150 thousands copies available this Wednesday in Germany, Austria and Switzerland were already sold, Cláudia Glenewinkel, the publisher spokeswoman, reported.
Grass won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1999.
August 18, 2006