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Analysis of The Sunflower - on the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness by Wiesenthal Simon - Book Report/Review Example

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From the paper "Analysis of The Sunflower - on the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness by Wiesenthal Simon" it is clear that although sociologists may argue that Karl was defenceless against the Third Reich militant regime, he possessed the choice of standing up for his morals. …
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Analysis of The Sunflower - on the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness by Wiesenthal Simon
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Download file to see previous pages Films and books tell the world of the horrible and sometimes shockingly human experiences amidst the Holocaust. In the Sunflower, Simon Wiesenthal narrates the experience of encountering a Nazi soldier who confesses his sins and asks for forgiveness from Simon. Although Simon resorts to silence because of his dilemma, if I were in his position, I would not have forgiven the soldier. It is essential to highlight the two levels of forgiveness that apply to the situation. Either forgiveness could mean excusing Karl from his atrocities or it may suggest letting go of the resentment that Simon might have harbored against Karl. Viewing Wiesenthal and Karl as individuals are simplistic thereby ignoring the complexity and experiences of people other than them. In this sense, it may be effective to view the two people as a case study of the Holocaust experience. Karl symbolizes the Nazi supporters who experienced a clear conscience only when faced with a similar trauma just as the Jews were facing. Although the story does not indicate a particular time when Karl experienced a new revelation, it seems he refreshed his soul when he became sick. In the hospital, he is still identified as a soldier. It is probable that Karl would have continued with his debauched life had he not gotten ill. Wiesenthal’s forgiveness of Karl denies entire atrocities committed by the Third Reich regime. Denial of forgiveness, in this case, is an act of conscience that manifests the Holocaust’s magnitude of inhumanity. It is illegitimate for Karl to offer forgiveness on behalf of all the Jews who faced horrid time in concentration camps. Forgiveness, in the act of excusing Karl from his sins, endorses the debauchery that he committed.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead more
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