Two States: One Nation? by Gunter Grass
For the last 30 years, Gunter Grass, Germany's foremost living writer, has been arguing, in speeches and interviews, against the reunification of Germany. He believes that after 40 years of Communist rule, East Germany has a national character of its own and should therefore have a state of its own. He further argues that the world in general and Germany's European neighbours in particular have every reason to fear the power that the two states combined would represent. "In the course of barely 75 years as a unified nation", he told a Social Democratic Party congress in December 1989, "we have filled the history books with suffering, rubble, defeat, millions of refugees, millions of dead, and crimes that can never be undone". Grass pleads for cultural co-operation, for free communication and travel, joint environmental initiatives and material assistance by West Germany in the rebuilding of the East German economy, but remains steadfastly opposed to reunification.