Gunter Grass was a German novelist, poet, playwright, illustrator, graphic artist, sculptor, and recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature.
He was born in the Free City of Danzig. As a teenager, he served as a drafted soldier from late 1944 in the Waffen-SS, and was taken prisoner of war by U.S. forces at the end of the war in May 1945. He was released in April 1946. Trained as a stonemason and sculptor, Grass began writing in the 1950’s. In his fiction, he frequently returned to the Danzig of his childhood.