Reflection In The Sunflower

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In the book, The Sunflower, Simon Wiesenthal shares stories of his experience as a Jew living through the Holocaust. He tells tales of many different concentration camps and the protocol at each of them. He recalls brutal beatings and mass murders that he witnessed throughout his life. Out of all of the atrocious things that Wiesenthal experienced, only one of the many continued to haunt him long past the ruthless murders and slave labor. This was the confrontation with SS soldier, Karl Seidl. Seidl was on his deathbed when Simon met him. He had been summoned by a nurse to come to Karl’s bedside. When Simon arrived, Karl told him the story of his life, from start to finish. He speaks in great detail of his transformation from a good catholic boy to an SS Soldier, all the while, Simon was wondering why he had summoned him to his room. Finally, after hours of explaining, Karl got to the point. He recalled upon an event that occurred around a year ago and had haunted him every day after. Upon this reflection, he asks Simon for forgiveness. At a loss of words, Simon simply stood up and walked out of the room. Karl Seidl died…show more content…
Most significantly, I learned the importance of consideration and compassion. These concepts, in my eyes, are more important than the concept of forgiveness. When it is not your place to forgive someone for the wrongs they have committed, you can always revert to being considerate and compassionate. I believe that no matter what crime is committed, a person is always deserving of compassion. Simon shows this compassion when he sits by the side of the SS soldier, regardless of the atrocities that he has committed. Compassion, I feel, is one of the basic principles of being human. It is also important to be considerate of the emotional state of other, much like Simon was to the mother of the SS soldier. Simon Wiesenthal was a perfect example of a model human
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