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The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness

Average Rating 4
( 42 )
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5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(2)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

The best story I ever read

If you're looking for a book that makes you question the very core of your soul, this is it. Powerful and moving, this novel recounts the life of a nazi soldier and jewish prisoner during WWII. This book sparked a lot of debate between me and my friends. Was the prisone...
If you're looking for a book that makes you question the very core of your soul, this is it. Powerful and moving, this novel recounts the life of a nazi soldier and jewish prisoner during WWII. This book sparked a lot of debate between me and my friends. Was the prisoner right in his actions? Was the soldier out of line? When is it ok to forgive, and who is at liberty to forgive some of the atrocities that occurred? Half the book is the true story between the soldier and prisoner; the other is a symposium from people from all walks of life (professors, religious leaders, etc.) answering the question the author's question: What would you have done in my shoes?

posted by saberchic on June 7, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

First half good, second half not

First half of book was interesting, but got bored in the last half of book.

posted by 2851453 on March 14, 2010

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  • Posted June 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The best story I ever read

    If you're looking for a book that makes you question the very core of your soul, this is it. Powerful and moving, this novel recounts the life of a nazi soldier and jewish prisoner during WWII. This book sparked a lot of debate between me and my friends. Was the prisoner right in his actions? Was the soldier out of line? When is it ok to forgive, and who is at liberty to forgive some of the atrocities that occurred? Half the book is the true story between the soldier and prisoner; the other is a symposium from people from all walks of life (professors, religious leaders, etc.) answering the question the author's question: What would you have done in my shoes?

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2006

    A 'Must Read' Book

    This was one of the best books I have ever read. I found Weisenthal's dilemma challenging. As Christians, I was taught to emmulate Christ and to forgive our enemies 70 times 7. But does that include extending absolution for crimes against those who can no longer speak for themselves? Where does personal responsibility begin in a world gone insane and dominated by groupthink? Can an individual speak on behalf of a people so persecuted? These are just a few of the questions this book made me think about (and I continue to ponder). I find myself thinking one thing, I look at the book again and find new questions and different answers each time. Even as I read different responses from others, I see a new dimension to the question. I highly recommend this book.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2006

    This collection of essays provides a lot of scholarly insight into the differences between Christianity and Judaism

    As a Jew that was not brought up very religious I really learned a lot about how both religions view forgiveness and repentance. I would definitely recommend this book for everybody.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    I read this book over 5 years ago and am re-reading it. I am fi

    I read this book over 5 years ago and am re-reading it. I am finding it even more engrossing and challenging than the first read. This is a book to be studied and discussed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2010

    First half good, second half not

    First half of book was interesting, but got bored in the last half of book.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2002

    A Classic!

    'To forgive or not to forgive' that is the question this author poses to people of different backgrounds and different faiths. The responses are beautiful, profound, and heart-wrenching. You will not be disappointed in the faith-filled pages of this book. A Triumph!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2002

    Wonderful!

    The story of the 'sunflower' is itself worthy of reading this book. However, the dilemnas and questions and reactions Wiesenthal must deal with present a new opportunity for the reader to view the Holocaust and other atrocities in a way that I have never seen presented before. As a post-MEd student with a life long interest in the reasons behind man's inhumanity toward man, this book is a must read. The 53 responses of others who have been situated in horrific life situations are an invaluable contribution to this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    Suberb

    Amazing

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 12, 2011

    Highly Recommend

    The Sunflower is a book of enormous inspiration. Everyone should own this book and read it very often. I've read this one at least 1/2 a dozen times and will continue to go back to it. Also, I've enjoyed this book so much that I've given it to 4 people already and I will gift it again in the future. A truly beautiful and excellent examination of conscience.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2009

    "The Sunflower" is a very thought provoking, heart felt read. It allows you to question yourself.

    Mr. Wiesentthal does a great job in presenting his battle and allows the reader to feel and understand his pain and suffer. The short writings that follow his actual narrative are also very informative and interesting. The book turn the reader to face himself and question himself. The book serves as a guide of different opinions. I truly don't think that an individual can answer the question of forgivness unless put in similar situations.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2005

    More than thought provoking!

    Mr. Wiesenthal's story is one of the most difficult I have ever read and one that I am so very grateful that I did read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2005

    UNBELIEVABLE

    What Would you do? This is the main question that is asked in the book. A story that involves the ideas of forgiveness and guilt. How would you respond to a question asking for the fogiveness of an entire population. A must read especially if you are in to Holocaust History.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2014

    Well written, thought provoking, I applaud Mr. Wiesenthal for sh

    Well written, thought provoking, I applaud Mr. Wiesenthal for sharing this experience with us.  We can all learn from the past and this contains powerful lessons.  I really appreciated the commentaries that were added when the book was republished in the 1990's, especially Mr. Levin's.  Thank you for writing this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2014

    Holly

    She nods quietly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2014

    Umbreo

    Alright.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2014

    Hazel

    Yeah, i tred to tell you on friday i was going camping, but my wifi just zonked

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  • Posted September 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal is a book that has the power t

    The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal is a book that has the power to change your life, and to think about the act of forgiveness in a very deep way.

    This is the true story of Simon Wiesenthal, and how, as a Jewish prisoner under the Nazi regime, he encountered a dying Nazi soldier who would ask Simon to do something that is very difficult: to forgive him for his sins against the Jewish people.

    This book has two sections: the first section detailing Simon's telling of the story, and the second which is filled with essays written by prominent figures of what they would do in Simon's role.  I didn't read all of the commentary, but I did read some of them.

    Does The Sunflower sound familiar to you?  It's the real-life version of the Jodi Picoult novel, The Storyteller.

    One section of Simon's tale really struck a chord with me.  During a time when many Jews were living in the ghetto, the regime in charge wanted the children to be gone.  The SS leader decided the best way to get all of the Jewish children out of hiding (so they could kill them, of course) would be to start a kindergarten, and advertise it as something for the good of the Jews.  Extra food was even sent to the ghetto to help show the goodwill.

    However, when the children came out of hiding to go to the kindergarten on that day, they were loaded onto SS trucks and brought straight to the gas chambers.

    Does Simon have the right to forgive on behalf of all of the Jewish people that this dying Nazi killed, injured, etc?

    Can he deny a dying man's wish?

    Will Simon forgive this Nazi?

    Would YOU?

    Thanks for reading,

    Rebecca @ Love at First Book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2013

    GET YOUR AD OFF SUNCLAN

    Please nobodys joining

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2013

    Eurydice

    She yawns and twists open the Purple Hearts gebtly. "Next bush iver!" ((Res2 or around there, my res are mixed around...))

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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