His father was a Social Democrat and his mother brought Karl up as a Catholic. How would you differentiate forgiveness and reconciliation? Many of the Symposium contributors believe that even as he lay dying, Karl saw the Jews as objects or subhumans, and that his wish to confess to a Jew, any Jew, and a concentration camp prisoner at that, showed that he had learned nothing from his experiences. The Ultimate Moral Question by: When he arrives, a nurse approaches him and asks him if he is a Jew. Then we began to drive the Jews into the house. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel writes, “No one can forgive crimes committed against other people” p. Karl does not care to get personal with Simon; he only wants to tell his story.

Eli had stayed home that day. Tormented by the crimes in which he had participated, including the murder of a family with a small child, the SS man wanted to confess to—and if possible, receive absolution from—a Jew. Find a Workshop or Seminar. The Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso. Simon wakes up screaming. The Sunflower Synopsis This belongs to the following resource s: Marty compares the national guilt visited upon the postwar generation in Germany with our own national guilt for the institution of slavery and the genocide of Native Americans, and questions whether the perpetuation of such feelings is healthy.

I do, however, believe that we should remain compassionate and kind to everyone, even the sinful. There were a hundred and fifty of them or perhaps two hundred, including many children who stared at us with anxious eyes. Karl went on to tell Simon about being sent to fight in Russia, and about coming, one day, to a village.

Do you agree with his position? Bolek said Simon was in a position to grant absolution since the victim or a religious representative was not present.

They feel that God is absent and not looking on his earth or after the Jews. Some of the commentators believe that those who were following orders were just as guilty as those who gave them; others, like Dith Pran, draw a moral line between followers and leaders.

Simon finds himself at the bedside of a dying, young SS soldier. When they did, the children were promptly taken to the gas chambers.


The first reason for forgiveness is because of death. When his group returned to the hospital the next day, the same nurse came to Simon and told him that Karl had died.

A dying Nazi soldier asks for your forgiveness. A truck arrived with cans of petrol which we unloaded and took into a house. Simon refused all subsequent efforts by the nurse to go back and see the Nazi soldier. Simon does not say anything, and then walks out of the room.

Karl joined the Hitler Youth and later volunteered for the SS. To forgive by word of mouth seems to me to be so superficial. Karl’s head was completely covered in bandages, with openings only for wiesentahl mouth, nose and ears. In The SunflowerSimon Wiesenthal raises that question for readers to wrestle with, and they have been passionately doing so ever since.

As for knowing what his heart and soul feels, only God knows that and, sunflowre, only God has the ability to truly forgive him. Suddenly I envied the dead soldiers. Karl tells him that he must confess a terrible crime he has committed, and begins to explain his life story: One day, Simon was taken on a march with other camp sunfloower. In the long nights while I have been waiting for death, time and time again I have longed to talk about it to a Jew and beg forgiveness from him.

Another reason for forgiveness that these scholars point out is freedom.

The Sunflower Synopsis

Simon sees this sunflower as drawing in or collecting sun rays from the heavens and lighting their dark grave. Why or why not? Psychotherapist Andre Stein, however, disagrees, saying that “Simon had a responsibility toward past and future victims to tell her the truth.

Simon did not have the power to forgive Karl because he did not represent the Jewish society as a whole. The SS officers brutalize them, and if they refuse to work or cannot work, they are shot. Do you find their arguments harsh or just?

Perhaps Simon is directing this symbolism towards God and heaven as well. Karl then admits his crime: Some believe that repentance alone does not justify forgiveness, and that Karl demonstrated his anti-Semitism by asking a random Jew for forgiveness, as if all Jews are an undifferentiated mass rather than a diverse group composed of individuals.


Simon envies the dead soldiers, because he thinks he will be buried without this distinction of humanity and remembrance. This, in my reading, was the final sin of the dying Nazi” pp. It is neither infrequent nor extraordinary.

The Sunflower Reader’s Guide

That was the last time his father spoke to him. As a young man imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, Wiesenthal was taken one day from his labor brigade to a hospital at the request of Karl, a mortally wounded Nazi soldier. Was it not just as wicked for people to look on quietly and without protest at human beings enduring such shocking humiliation?

Placing a Jew in this anguished position further victimizes him or her. On the way, “Our column suddenly came to a halt at a crossroads. Wiesenthal ruminates on whether or not he should have forgiven Seidl through the rest of his experiences in the concentration camp system. How does collective guilt differ from national guilt? Arthur and Adam are happy to hear there is one less Nazi in the world, and Josek is glad that Simon did not forgive Karl, saying that Simon could not forgive crimes on behalf of other people.

However, no one is absolutely positive that people who ask for forgiveness are truly sorry for what they have done.

The Sunflower Synopsis | Facing History and Ourselves

Collected into one volume, their responses became one of the most enduring documents of Holocaust literature and a touchstone of interfaith dialogue.

Its task is to identify and locate Nazi war criminals. From toMr. I feel sunflowre it is not our right to deeply forgive another for their sins. Who are we to say that someone is truly forgiven for their sins?