A Response Letter to the story of Simon Wiesenthal: The Sunflower Your story replicates the moral dilemma in this world that even the readers cannotanswer your question directly. This serves as a lesson for us that will change the world’s system about forgiving the transgressions of other people. The world tells us that forgiveness is difficult to attain especially if it involves life. Our immediate response is anger or revenge. However, faith and religious beliefs separate us from the perspective of the world because it will tell you that people must forgive one another because that is what the Bible says. In examining your life, dehumanization is a horrible experience because it leads to pain, anguish, and hatred. I would have felt the same. Indeed, this question is hard to answer because I have no experience, although you have described the situation vividly. In addition, it is much easier to say yes and get done with it especially when you have not identified yourself in other people’s lives.
I have understood why you cannot answer the request of the dying man. It is because you have so many burdens in your heart, and the wound is still fresh. The symbol of sunflower always reminds you the connection of living and the dead. Envy was in your heart because even though that man cannot claim for your forgiveness. there will be a sunflower on his tomb. Sunflower is also a reminder of the lives that had been taken due to Holocaust. During that time, when the man asked for your forgiveness, the measurement you used was the sunflower. It directs you to the decision you had made — to be silent and walk away. Pain is extremely difficult to handle. It will haunt you even when you are asleep. Pain will make your dreams and hopes vanished. My criticism to your behavior will later lead to my answer to your question: Are the Nazis worthy of Jews’ forgiveness? In behalf of 6 million Jews that died, can I forgive that man who participated in eliminating my family, friends, and race?
When faith and moral values combine, the answer to that question is yes. Within the context of your story, you have never found absolute peace because even at the end of your life, you will ask a similar question. Although you have been called as the conscience of the Holocaust, your past decision haunts you. Forgiveness is the key to free yourself from the nightmare of the Holocaust. Moreover, forgiveness is associated with letting go. It does not signify that you will forget what had happened in the past, but freeing yourself from anger and hatred. It will lead to healing and restoring your stolen hopes and dreams.
The story of a Good Samaritan reminds me of helping each other in times of need. Although this story is not about forgiveness, it has a lesson on the issue of race. Whereas, you chose to do “nothing” because you were also “helpless,” unable to respond to the dying man (Wiesenthal 54). In sum, even though you have achieved your goal, you have not freed yourself from the guilt you felt when you walk away from that man. It signifies the importance of forgiveness in liberating ourselves from pain.
Wiesenthal, Simon. The Sunflower. USA: Schocken Books, 1976. Print.