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The Sunflower. On the possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness By Simon Wiesenthal. Who is Simon Wiesenthal?. Simon Wiesenthal was born in 1908 and died in 2005 He was a survivor of the Nazi death camps

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the sunflower

The Sunflower

On the possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness

By Simon Wiesenthal

who is simon wiesenthal
Who is Simon Wiesenthal?
  • Simon Wiesenthal was born in 1908 and died in 2005
  • He was a survivor of the Nazi death camps
  • He dedicated his life to documenting the crimes and finding the escaped war criminals who killed over 6 millions Jews and others in Germany’s death camps.
  • He was one of 34 prisoners out of 149,000 who survived the Mauthausen death camp.
  • He was barely alive when the camp was liberated in 1945.
the holocaust
The Holocaust
  • The Holocaust began in Germany and surrounding countries at the beginning of WWII –1939.
  • It did not end until the war ended in 1945.
  • Hitler wanted a powerful Aryan nation to rule the world. He was an incredible bigot. He wanted to kill Jews, Gypsies, Blacks, Mixed races---anyone not part of “White Germany.”
  • Over 6 million, mostly Jews, were murdered.
who wiesenthal found and indicted
Who Wiesenthal found and indicted
  • Wiesenthal was responsible for the capture of the Adolf Eichmann who supervised the implementation of the “Final Solution” (wipe out all Jews as quickly as possible) Eichmann was living in secret in Buenos Aires. He was found guilty and executed in 1961.
  • He went on to find 9 more SS officers and Franz Stangl who was in charge of several camps in Poland, and had them charged and imprisoned.
  • Many others were found, tried and sentenced through his foundation.
the why
The Why?
  • Wiesenthal had a engineering degree and could have lived a quiet very comfortable life as a builder.
  • In the NY Times Magazine (1964), Simon was asked, “Simon, if you had gone back to building houses, you’d be a millionaire. Why didn’t you?”
  • “You’re a religious man, aren’t you? I also believe in God and the afterlife. When we come to the other world and meet the millions of Jews who died in the camps and they ask us: ‘What have you done?’ There will be many answers. You will say, ‘I became a jeweler, or I sell cigarettes, or I build houses.’ But I will say…I did not forget you.”
wiesenthal s books
Wiesenthal’s books.
  • The Murderers Among Us, 1967
  • The Sunflower, 1970
  • Sails of Hope, 1973
  • Max and Helen, 1982
  • Krystyna, 1987
  • Every Day Remembrance Day, 1987
  • Justice Not Vengeance, 1989