I can still recall quite vividly the experience of reading The Tin Drum when I was 15. So while I was away recently, among all my other reading, I finally got around to reading Günter Grass's rather long apologia in the New Yorker vis a vis his "forgetfulness" in ever mentioning his wartime service in the Waffen SS.
How I Spent the War
In 1943, when I was a fifteen-year-old schoolboy in Danzig, I volunteered for active duty. When? Why? Since I do not know the exact date and cannot recall the by then unstable climate of the war, or list its hot spots from the Arctic to the Caucasus, all I can do for now is string together the circumstances that probably triggered and nourished my decision to enlist. No mitigating epithets allowed. What I did cannot be put down to youthful folly. No pressure from above. Nor did I feel the need to assuage a sense of guilt, at, say, doubting the Führer’s infallibility, with my zeal to volunteer.... (full article here)