The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
, Dec 18, 2008
- 304 pages
A Holocaust survivor'sásurprising and thought-provoking study of forgiveness,ájustice, compassion, and human responsibility, featuring contributions from theáDalai Lama, Harry Wu, Cynthia Ozick,áPrimo Levi, and more.
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.ááBut even years after the way 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.