The Sunflower

By Simon Wiesenthal

304 pages


4.5 stars


If you were a Jew in a concentration camp, would you grant forgiveness to a dying Nazi? Simon Wiesenthal tells the true story of being called into a hospital room at the behest of a nurse. An SS officer is dying. His last request is to talk to and receive forgiveness from a Jew. Wiesenthal listens to a horrible, but common story of the Holocaust and this Nazi’s part in it. Wiesenthal’s next decision has been one many question and reflect upon in “The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness”.

Fifty-three men and women respond to Wiesenthal’s act and his questions. The essays ask and try to answer important questions about compassion, justice, and forgiveness. Each writer has their own response to Wiesenthal. It’s a good book to read in intervals. This way the reader can take time to reflect upon each essay and decide how to think about the content. It’s a very thought-provoking book and the content is very emotionally intense.

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