Book Review: The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Genre: Non-fiction

Age Recommended: 14 and up

This was a very thought-provoking read. Some parts of it were a bit gory and others too repetitive. However, the responses of people in the second half of the book were very interesting to read and I loved seeing the different points of view.

The Sunflower


Simon Wiesenthal is a former concentration camp prisoner of WWII who shares his story in this book.


Normally, Simon and his fellow prisoners are taken to a town to slave away as they are monitored by SS (Nazi) soldiers. One day, Simon is suddenly whisked away by a nurse to listen to the dying words of a SS soldier who is seeking forgiveness from a Jewish person.

The soldier, Karl, shares his horrifying experience about ruthlessly murdering hundreds of Jewish people  by locking them in a house and setting it on fire. Karl then proceeds to ask Simon for forgiveness believing that only a Jew can grant him the peace he needs.

Karl expresses remorse, but Simon may not have the reaction Karl is hoping for.

The rest of the book shows the thoughts of many people regarding Simon’s actions and what they would have done instead.

If you would like to read this book, you can purchase it here: The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness (Newly Expanded Paperback Edition)



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