I remember when I was writing 'The Tin Drum,' I had the totally misguided idea of giving Oskar Matzerath a sister, and he just wouldn't have it. There was no space for a sister, yet I had the character of the sister in my head. In fact I used her in later novels, in 'Cat and Mouse' and 'Dog Years,' Tulla Pokriski.
For me, writing, drawing, and political activism are three separate pursuits; each has its own intensity. I happen to be especially attuned to and engaged with the society in which I live. Both my writing and my drawing are invariably mixed up with politics, whether I want them to be or not.
We cannot get by Auschwitz. We should not even try, as great as the temptation is, because Auschwitz belongs to us, is branded into our history, and - to our benefit! - has made possible an insight that could be summarized as, 'Now we finally know ourselves.'