In a conversation with Felicitas von Lovenberg of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published on April 13, 2012, Fritz Stern gives his reaction to Günter Grass's controversial poem on Israel, “What Must Be Said,” first published in April 2012 in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. In it Grass attacked Israel's stance toward Iran, recommended that Germany no longer supply Israel with submarines, and reproached himself and other Germans for withholding criticism for so long for fear of offending Israel. Stern, who condemns the ad hominem attacks that dismissed Grass as an ex-member of the Waffen-SS and a covert anti-Semite, regards such attacks as misplaced and ultimately irrelevant. In Stern's view, the real problems lie in various oversimplifications of the debate on the Middle East, in Grass's failure to take note of Israel's internal debates, and in his long silence about his own past.

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