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The Sunflower

Simon Wiesenthal

The Sunflower

by Simon Wiesenthal

The Sunflower

Simon Wiesenthal

5 min
3 key insights
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The Sunflower is a vital exploration of forgiveness from Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal.

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The Sunflower

by Simon Wiesenthal

The Sunflower

Simon Wiesenthal

Overview

While imprisoned at the Lemberg concentration camp in 1943, Simon Wiesenthal was summoned to the bedside of a dying Nazi soldier named Karl Seidl. Seidl's final wish was to confess his crimes and receive absolution from someone Jewish. Wiesenthal listened but remained silent, torn between justice and empathy. Years later, Wiesenthal continued to question whether he'd done the right thing. This began his life-long search for the true meaning of forgiveness and its implications.

Wiesenthal was an Austrian Holocaust survivor who devoted his post-war life to bringing Nazi war criminals to trial. He co-founded the Jewish Historical Documentation Centre to aid this work and to help Jewish refugees locate lost relatives.

Despite its basis in the Holocaust, The Sunflower is not a book about terror. Written in 1969, it explores the incredible complexities of forgiveness. Wiesenthal questions 53 people - from theologians, politicians, and jurists to activists, psychiatrists, and victims of attempted genocides - about justice, compassion, truth, and responsibility.

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"For evil to flourish, it only requires good men to do nothing."

Simon Wiesenthal

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The Sunflower

Simon Wiesenthal

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