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 genocide 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.
©1969, 1970 Copyright 1969, 1970 by Opera Mundi Paris. Copyright renewed 1997 by Simon Wiesenthal. Preface and Symposium copyright 1976, 1997, 1998 by Schocken Books Incorporated. (P)2011 Tantor
"In simple yet elegant prose, Wiesenthal recreates the grim reality of a time when Eastern Europe was hell. Never lapsing into the maudlin or self-pitying, his matter-of-fact realism makes the images all the more horrifying." (Publishers Weekly)
Read this book and get your family and friends to read it as well. The discussions it will inspire will be well-worth it.
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A very compelling question: Who deserves forgiveness? Are there circumstances around being able to forgive? If you know the “why” does that really change anything?
I’d like to think that I could forgive in order to free myself of the anger, but that’s just theory - under those particular conditions, I really have no idea what I would do.
The essays in the book were interesting, if you are the type of person who likes to reflect upon these kinds of things you will be drawn in.
I had a very hard time with the narration, I found the male narrator’s voice too deep, too baritone, almost grumbly – it was borderline white noise and I found myself drifting away on many occasions.
This is a truly profound book. Not only does it challenge the reader to endure a small window the true horror of WWII, but it also engages with you to emotional and intellectually process through you, the reader, would handle the situation.
I would listen to this book over and over. The fact is when you listen to the story and then the different responses from others, you can do nothing else but wonder what the right answer is, or IF there is a right answer.
I really appreciated the way the different narrators were used. It helped to bring you into a different mood and prepare you for a different point of view with each letter.
This book was extremely moving because to forces you to think through what it is you believe you would have done, and question it.
This new version of The Sunflower is extraordinary. The people that have written their thoughts about Simon Wiesenthal's original dilemma knocked my socks off. The issue of forgiveness is so relevant to our modern world. The book is a classic for all times. I would recommend this for young (8th grade and up) and old.
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