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What must be answered
to Günter Grass

English translation : from Mr Felix Perez 

After 50 years of silence, the German author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, Günter Grass acknowledged that he had been a member of the Waffen SS in 1944 and followed this revelation with a mea culpa which appeared to be sincere.
      Günter Gras has just published a poem which received great international media coverage, under the following title: “What must be said”
The poem absolves Iran’s aggressive policy. It denounces the sale of German submarines to Israel and accuses Israel of presenting a nuclear threat to world peace.
The poet and playwright, Dr. Claude Salama answered Günter Grass with the following poem: “What must be answered.”
I am wondering   
I’m thinking
I’m weighing and weighing again each letter
I’m scanning each of them,
one by one,
I am assembling them carefully…
They are countless,
ready to use any word,
of any sentence,
to distort the truth,
to blame us,
to condemn us.
What can I answer to you, Günter?
Such an abyss lies between us…
Here I am,
now back in Jerusalem,
because I do believe in all these old stories,
those petrified mummies
which came through the museums of our exile,
suddenly revitalized… the Bible,
the Prophets, the Promised Land,
and even, risking to look old-fashioned for you…
in G.od;;;

Here I am,
back in Jerusalem,
also with the hope
to sit down,
maybe, one day,
to drink
a glass of tea
with Arab friends
in Ramallah…
Such an abyss lies between us…
a german poet,
already attracted at the age of 17
by the submarines,
the Hitler’s submarines,
sowing death over the oceans.
You were a member of the SS,
a youthful indiscretion…
For us it was the Shoah,
a big fire lit up by the Nazis, by the SS,
for our youth,
for the Bible’s People.
What can I answer to you, Günter?
You, who dare define yourself as a survivor!
In this abyss which lies between us,
which your Germany had dug,
Iran’s leaders, these faithful men,
do yell every day...
They still want to throw there the Nation of survivors,
the genuine ones,
the People of Israel.
They want atomic bombs
for pacific purposes
They want long range missiles
for generous purposes
and for a clear goal,
bring peace on earth…
the peace of the cemeteries.

Not the peace of the genuine Islam,
shared with the Jews,
the peace of Andalusia,
 of poetry,
of mysticism,
of music.

They want the peace of the Talibans,
of frightened women, beaten, confined, stoned,
bereaved in their black veils.
The peace of thousands of children thrown into the war against Iraq,
the peace of the Iranian Nation,
this civilized people
the first to raise against his dictators,
men, women, children, students, beaten, raped, confined.
The peace of a whole muzzled Nation.
What could I tell you that you might finally understand?
That Israel, this huge country,
is smaller than parts of France
such as Normandy… or Brittany…
that it is as big, huge as the tiny Lorraine...
as the german Land of Hessen…
Or tell you that Iran and Turkey together
have the same population than Russia…
Russia against Lorraine! ...
And let’s not forget Syria, Iraq, Hezbollah, Hamas, Gaza and its thousands rockets, Sinai filled with terrorists, the wavering Egyptian peace, and even further other Islamist countries… The surface of Europe...
The whole Europe against Lorraine!…
Then, forgive me Günter,
but I don’t want,
we don’t want
to fall into this abyss which lies between us,
because we know
that we would find at its bottom
millions of bodies of the Jews
that Hitler, the SS and Nazi Germany
have murdered

And now, Günter, I finally know what I wanted to tell you!
Take your poem,
go and bring it to Iran.
People do wait for you,
to welcome you,
to congratulate you.
Tell them that the People of Israel does want peace,
but tell them also
that if their leaders, their generals,
still keep going threatening us with atomic annihilation
we will not allow them to build
the weapons to destroy us.
We will not crush the Iranian people, 
as you say in such a despicable way.
We will eliminate Iranian nuclear centers
before it’s too late,
also with the hope
to bring to freedom
this big Nation of Iran
chained by its leaders
Go and tell your friends that together we share the same G.od
and that they should open their eyes
and their ears
G.od has already spoken in our favour!
He gave us back
the Land of milk and honey.
The six million Jews that Nazis burned
are now alive
alive in Israel!
We have now here six million Jews!
They came back to life
exactly as the Prophet Ezekiel had predicted!
Spread the good news everywhere!
Israel comes back to life!
Jerusalem is now rebuilt!
And I would also like to tell you my sorrow
You are a great german writer,
an 84 year-old, former and repentant member of the SS
You have seen everything! Heard everything!
You know everything!
You could have stood up to tell the truth.
The truth of the Shoah to its deniers,
The truth of their nuclear project to the Iranians,
deadly for humanity!
You, such a "noble minded man", a Nobel Prize,
You could have settled the debt of your youth as a former member of the SS,
you could have stood up bravely for Israel.
You who have seen our suffering,
you could have proven that you really did change,
that Germany really did change…
But you didn’t do it
You did prefer to scream with the pack
which rumbles, which howls with the wolves
surrounding this brave little country
That’s why, from now on, I have nothing more to tell you.
Please don’t publish your mood anymore!
And you should know, Günter Grass
that I will continue to dream,
despite you and despite everything,
that one day
I will be able
to sit down,
without risking being lynched,
to drink
a glass of tea
with arab friends
in Ramallah...
Dr Claude Salama