The Sunflower Essay
Simon located him in Argentina. Adolf Eichmann was at trial and pleaded he was not guilty. After the trial Simon wrote a book about Eichmann. Simon didn’t spend time with his daughter since he was busy bringing Nazis to justice. So Simon gave his daughter his telegram, his achievement of bringing Eichmann to justice. Karl (the dying ss man) was a banal catholic boy, but then he joined the Hitler youth. Karl had to obey the platoon leaders. Karl was on a mission to massacre another innocent group of people, but Karl kept having flash backs of the burning family incident.
His hands began to tremble and then a shell exploded right in front of him. Karl is in a Reserve Hospital in Lemberg (another name for the hospital is the Technical High school). He was wrapped in bandages from head to toe and looked similar to King Tut. Karl wanted a Jew to confess to. Simon Wiesenthal walked in the room and was talking to Karl. Karl wanted to cleanse himself, he was asking for forgiveness for all the sins he has done. Karl wanted to talk to Simon because he thought he could forgive for the other Jews. Simon just walked out of the room.
Karl’s father died in a factory, it was bombed and he passed away only his mother lives. Simon left the Hospital and keeps thinking of the ss man’s crime and if he should have a sunflower. A sunflower symbolized a connection between the living and the dead. Karl isn’t worthy of sympathy and now he regrets it when dying. Before Simon walks out the room, Karl hauntingly recounts his story in the horrifying death of a father, mother, and a dark eyed child who were brutally shot down after jumping out of a burning building. Simon becomes extremely distressed with the images stuck in his head.
Simon remembers a six year old boy named Eli, when Karl identified the child. Simon wants to leave the room but Karl keeps recounting the rest of his story. Simon struggles with the ironic dilemma having the image of the child with piercing eyes that questioned the hatred of the world surrounding him. Simon left the ss man’s room in complete silence. Simon returned to his cabin and told Josek (The Rabi) of what happened in the Reserve Hospital. Josek was telling Simon to not forgive the ss man for the other Jews but he can for himself.
The Dalai Lama was a religious leader. The Dali Lama was in the same scenario like the Holocaust. China invaded Tibet in 1949 through 1950 and more than 1. 2 million Tibetians, one fifth of the country’s population. Dalai Lamma said this quote, “one should forgive…… but this does not necessarily mean one should forget about the atrocities committed. This quote means, forgive but don’t forget. Another quote was, “we could label the Chinese our enemies and self – righteously condemn them for their brutality, that is not the Buddhist way.
This quote means that hate and revenge is the wrong decision. Desmond Tu Tu is a South African religious leader. A Genocide like the Holocaust occurred in South Africa to. Desmond Tu Tu quote was, “But there are others who say that they are not ready to forgive demonstrating that forgiveness is not facile or cheap. This quote means that one simply does not forgive after the horror they endured. This quote also reminds me when Karl asks Simon forgiveness for him and the other Jews. Another quote was, “without forgiveness there is no future.
This quote means if you don’t forgive, anger and hatred will grow and anarchy will be everywhere. To sum things up in the Sunflower Karl wanted to forgive Simon and all the Jews but he didn’t respond to him. If I were Simon I would forgive Karl just to make him feel a little better before death… Then I again changed my opinion, to stage where I thought I would forgive him, but only by words, not actually in my mind. I changed my first opinion because of Josek, in the story he said one can forgive someone else only when the person did wrong to him, not to the community.