Günter Grass Network Analysis


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Network Map of the the SPD during the 1969 West German Elections

This network graph is focused on conveying the importance of Günter Grass, the German-Kashubian novelist and essay in the process of the Social Democratic Party’s (SDP) network in 1969, the year the SDP won control of the Bundestag and began the Grand Coalition with the Free Democratic Party, which lasted until 1982. Essentially, Grass did not possess a great number of connections – only about three. However, one is to Willy Brandt, the leader of the SDP and future Chancellor of Germany (Helmut Schmidt, who is also represented here would precede Brandt as Chancellor.) Through Grass’ connection with Brandt, he is able to express influence disproportionate to his relative connectivity.

This graph also includes the Chair of the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union Chairman (CDU/CSU), Kurt-Georg Kiesenger and Free Democratic Party (FDP) chairman, Walter Scheel. The intent here is to show the proximity Brandt (and therefore Grass) had to other political organizations.



  • A line denotes a connection
  • SDP members are in red
  • CDU/CSU members are in blue
  • FDP members are in gold



Grass, Günter. 1972. From the Diary of the Snail. Mariner Books.


Morgan, Roger. Nov, 1969. “The 1969 Election in West Germany.” The World Today. 25 (11). Pp. 470-8.


“Wahl zum 6. Deutschen Bundestag am 28. September 1969.” 2015. Der Bundeswahlleteir. https://www.bundeswahlleiter.de/de/bundestagswahlen/fruehere_bundestagswahlen/btw1969.html. Accessed May 7, 2016.


Günter Grass: “El Dolor es la Principal Causa que me hace Trabajar y Crear”

In a rare Spanish interview conducted shortly before his death, Grass discusses his relationship with 20th century, particularly German, literature.  As mentioned before on this site, Grass felt deeply indebted to Kafka and Döblin as intellectual and artistic influences.  The title of this interview roughly translates to “Pain is the main cause of my work.”  Such a title is in keeping with much of what Grass writes elsewhere: that his work is a reflection of his own internal experience of diasporic trauma.  As a result, much of what is discussed involves current geopolitics as they relate to Grass’ literary and political project.

Spiegel Interview with Günter Grass: The Nobel Prize doesn’t Inhibit me in my Writing

Here is another interview with Grass on the subject of The Nobel Prize, this time with Die Spiegel International, an English imprint of the famed German news-magazine.  Grass is frank regarding his writing style and whether the Nobel Prize affects his ability to write.  Grass alleges it doesn’t but that his personal experiences with Nazism affects his urge and capacity to write.

Featured Author: Günter Grass

In honor of Grass’ 1999 Nobel Prize in literature, The New York Times ran a feature on Grass which includes reviews of his books, links to past interviews, and essays written by Grass.  Such a collection is interesting besides its Web 1.0 design.  Here is an opportunity to get a sense of what sort of attention Grass was receiving in the English world around the turn of the century.  Further, it’s interesting to see that Grass’ reception in the English-speaking world was much warmer before Grass’ confession of involvement in the Waffen-SS.  This hopefully sheds some light on Grass’ decision to confess said involvement.