While imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, Simon Wiesenthal was taken one day from his work detail to the bedside of a dying member of the SS. Haunted by the crimes in which he had participated, the soldier wanted to confess to--and obtain absolution from--a Jew. Faced with the choice between compassion and justice, silence and truth, Wiesenthal said nothing. But even years after the war had ended, he wondered: Had he done the right thing? What would you have done in his place? In this important book, fifty-three distinguished men and women respond to Wiesenthal's questions. They are theologians, political leaders, writers, jurists, psychiatrists, human rights activists, Holocaust survivors, and victims of attempted genocides in Bosnia, Cambodia, China and Tibet. Their responses, as varied as their experiences of the world, remind us that Wiesenthal's questions are not limited to events of the past. Often surprising and always thought provoking, The Sunflower will challenge you to define your beliefs about justice, compassion, and human responsibility.
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Review 1 for The Sunflower
Date:October 2, 2007
A powerful, first-hand account. A plea for mercy comes from a dying Nazi officer. His final request: Absolution for his sins from a Jewish man imprisoned by the evil system that the dying man served. The dilemma: How can Mr. Weisenthal, while compassionate and honest, offer forgiveness for crimes committed to dead Jewish persons? A dilemma for the victim who still has human kindness in the face of atrocities committed against his people. This is a soul-searching quest, with the question still lingering: Can these crimes possibly be forgiven at all, and, should Simon have given a dying man his last request that will let him die in peace? The question is posed to many noted persons of our time, some religious, some Holocaust survivors themselves, others have survived brutality at the hands of other regimes.Powerful, truthful, and a challenge for us all. This is truly one of the most important books of the twentieth century. Simon Weisenthal gives us much food for thought, a true struggle.