Oskar represents the hero of Grass' best known story The Tin Drum, an incredible work telling the story of a dwarf born in Langfuhr (Wrzeszcz) in the inter-war years who has a voice that can break glass and takes a view of the world from the beating of his small tin drum. With his Kashubian mother, German 'official' father and Polish 'supposed' father, it has been suggested that Oskar, represents Danzig/Gdańsk itself. Many of the details from this and the other two books which formed the Danzig Trilogy appear to have been taken directly from Grass' own life in the city.
The statue of Oskar was actually unveiled in 2002 and depicts him sitting on the bench playing his tiny drum. The boy who refused to grow and whose drumsticks have a habit of disappearing on a regular basis, sat here alone for 13 years even though both of the statues were made at the same time from a design by Sławoj Ostrowski, a lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. At the time, Grass caused a bit of controversy by telling the city authorities that he didn’t want a statue made of him while there were still homes in his childhood district which didn’t have bathrooms and so while the statue of Oskar was unveiled, the statue of Mr. Grass was put into storage. With the district markedly improved from those days in 2002 and with the author’s passing, the city dusted the statue off and Grass is back home in Langfuhr for good.
Pl. Wybickiego, Gdańsk
The second of the statues honouring the work of Gunter Grass stands atop a rough stone pillar in the middle of a fountain close by to Oskar’s Bench in Plac Wybickiego. The work shows a young girl cheerfully dancing while carrying an umbrella although
Gunter Grass' Home
ul. Joachima Lelewela 13, Gdańsk
Gunter Grass' primary school
ul. Pestalozziego 7/9, Gdańsk
Built at the end of the 1920s, this is the primary school that Grass himself attended and is the scene of Oskar Matzerath’s one-day long education career. A sign outside marks it as one of the stops on the local government’s prescribed walking tour. T