Of Silence and Sunflowers: a a Response to Simon Wisenthal's Question in “the Sunflower”

691 WordsMar 12, 20113 Pages
It is in the end of this life that one seeks mercy and absolution for the next. Faced with the choice to absolve,condemn or remain silent, what would you do? This is the question poised to the reader of Simon Wiesenthal's “The Sunflower”. Many answered his question, philosophers, nuns, survivors of genocide and an ex nazi and each provide a different answer. Joining each different response is the act of forgiving, either giving or denying each provide a scale on the limits of forgiveness. What are my limits of forgiveness what would I have done? Fist of all what is forgiveness? Many of the contributors to Wiesenthal “The Sunflower” give their own definition, but most agree it is the act of relieving someone of their crimes against…show more content…
Wiesenthal question. Both authors in the end choose that forgiving the dying nazi would have been the right thing to do, yet by reading there response I side with Simon. Like him I would have remained silent. I would have remained silent while looking at this man's face. I would have remained silent looking at the face of his mother. It is in the silence that my answer lies. Forgiveness is not ours to give but either is condemning a soul. Both are left to the divine. Each can forgive deeds done to himself, but can never forgive crimes against humanity, against a group. He can never forgive on the behalf of so many especially when what has effect many is so horrific. It is also not up to use dish out such judgment to them to make one suffer as you have. What is left? If you can forgive him on behalf of so many, and you can not bring him to justice? What is left? Only Silence is what you can provide. It is this silence that true mercy lies. You do not offer up a choice and you do not limit there choice, you leave it up to fate. This is the most compassionate thing you can do. Giving them justice does not undo the past, it does not change what has already happened. Forgiving does not always lead to comfort or resolve; it can lead to turmoil and disappointment for it also does not change past events. It is facing such things and situations that have done us wrong and understanding that what is done is done and what is left is out of

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