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Günter Grass House Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Tin Drum with an Exhibition
Scientist Viktoria Krason holds a tin drum at the exhibition 'A book makes history - 50 years Tin Drum' at Gunter Grass House in Lubeck, Germany. Photo: EFE/Maurizio Gambarini.
LUBECK.- Günter Grass House celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Tin Drum with an exhibition. The museum is located in the city of Lubeck in what was once a residence of the author Günter Grass. This great museum is fun and very informative; in the museum you can learn all about the author’s live and works including his famous work the Tin Drum, which is enjoyed all around the world.

Although the author did not originate from this city he did live here for a long period of time. There are many of Günter Grass’ original works on display at the museum.

The Günter Grass-House is dubbed "a crossroads forum where literature and the visual arts meet." The extensive and often thought-provoking exhibits demonstrate the close relationship between the Nobel laureate's so-called "double gift" - his works in both visual art and literature. The house surrounds a garden with Grass sculptures, an archive, a library, a shop and a café.

The Günter Grass Museum presents the work of the famous author - winner of the Nobel Prize for literature - who is also a draughtsman, sculptor and illustrator of his own books. The collection contains more than 1100 drawings, etchings, lithographs, water colours and manuscripts.

Günter Grass was born in the Free City of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland). In 1945, he came as a refugee to West Germany, but in his fiction he frequently returns to the Danzig of his childhood.

He is best known for his first novel, The Tin Drum, a key text in European magic realism and the first part of his Danzig Trilogy. His works frequently have a left wing, social democrat political dimension, and Grass has been an active supporter of the Social Democratic Party of Germany.

The story revolves around the life of Oskar Matzerath, as narrated by himself when confined in a mental hospital during the years 1952-1954. Born (in 1924 in the Free City of Danzig, now Gdansk, Poland) with an adult's capacity for thought and perception, he decides never to grow up when he hears his father declare that he would become a grocer. Gifted with a piercing shriek that can shatter glass or be used as a weapon, Oskar declares himself to be one of those "auditory clairvoyant babies", whose "spiritual development is complete at birth and only needs to affirm itself". He retains the stature of a child while living through the beginning of World War II, the Holocaust, several love affairs, and the world of postwar Europe. Through all this a tin drum that he receives as a present on his third birthday remains his treasured possession, and he is willing to kill to retain it.

Oskar considers himself to have two "presumptive fathers" - his mother's husband Alfred, a member of the Nazi Party, and her secret lover Jan, a Polish citizen of Danzig who is executed for defending the Polish Post Office in Danzig during the Nazi invasion of Poland. Oskar's mother having died, Alfred marries Maria, a woman who is secretly Oskar's first mistress. After marrying Alfred, Maria gives birth to Oskar's possible son, Kurt. But Oskar is disappointed to find that the baby persists in growing up, and will not join him in ceasing to grow at the age of three.

During the war, Oskar joins a troupe of performing dwarfs who entertain the German troops at the front line. But when his second love, the diminutive Roswitha, is killed by Allied troops in the invasion of Normandy, Oskar returns to his family in Danzig where he becomes the leader of a criminal youth gang. The Russian army soon captures Danzig, and Alfred is shot by invading troops after he goes into seizures while swallowing his party pin to avoid being revealed as a Nazi.

Oskar moves with his widowed stepmother and their son to Düsseldorf, where he models in the nude with Ulla and works engraving tombstones. He falls in love with the saintly Sister Dorothea, a neighbor, but fails to seduce her. Still devoted to his little tin drum, Oskar becomes a virtuoso jazz drummer and achieves fame and riches. One day while walking through a field he finds a severed finger: the ring finger of Sister Dorothea, who has been murdered. He then meets and befriends Vittlar. Oskar allows himself to be falsely convicted of the murder and is confined to an insane asylum, where he writes his memoirs.




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