The Sunflower

764 WordsMar 31, 20144 Pages
In The Sunflower, the main character Simon Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor, was faced with the situation in which Karl, a Nazi was asking for his forgiveness. Wiesenthal denied him. I am not a Jew, and I also did not endure the pain of the Holocaust. I believe it is a tough situation to think about and to respond to right then and there. I never will be fully able to understand what it would feel like to be in that situation, but if I were, these are my reasons for my choice not to forgive Karl as well. Karl made his own choices. He voluntarily joined the S.S. to become a part of the army. He was the one who decided to shoot the family that jumped out of the window, even though he didn’t have to. He was ordered, but who really would have…show more content…
Karl simply tried to put his burden on Wiesenthal, a human being already burdened with enough pain. Another reason for not forgiving would be the fact that Karl was not asking for Wiesenthal’s forgiveness but for forgiveness from all the Jews. He didn’t commit a crime against Wiesenthal personally, and for Wiesenthal to forgive him would have been an empty phrase with no meaning. Karl asked Wiesenthal for his forgiveness just because he is a Jew, and in the soldier’s mind at this time, all Jews are equal. He wanted to be forgiven for the family he shot, the hundreds he burned, the millions of deaths he contributed to. How could a single human forgive on the behalf of 6 million dead lives? I would not be able to. Wiesenthal was not able to. But what if I were to forgive? I would have forgotten the families falling from the windows and the countless other deaths, just to forgive the man. It would have all been a lie and saving Karl, the man who just want forgiveness to die without guilt, would not be worth a lie. For every Nazi that died, how many Jews died? How many children died? And Karl wants peace of mind! I would not lie to the man so he could die without guilt. I would tell him that his actions disgusted me to a point that I thought my stomach was going to come up my throat. I have strong sickening emotions in response to this story. Karl made the choice; he’ll face the consequences. But at the same time, he
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