When Simon, a holocaust survivor, was faced with the situation in which a Nazi was asking for his forgiveness, he denied him. I am not a Jew. I also did not endure the pain of the Holocaust. I never will be fully able to understand what it would feel like to be in that situation, but if I was, these are my reasonings for my choice to not forgive the man as well. Everyone has a choice. It was the man’s choice to join the S.S. and to shoot at the Jews. Now the man faces consequences for his choices. Why should someone have to forgive him? He didn’t even do anything to try and amend for his wrong doings. He simply tried to put his burden on another being, a being already burdened with enough pain. Another reason for not forgiving would be the fact that the soldier was not asking for Simon’s forgiveness but for forgiveness from all the Jews. He wanted to be forgiven for the family he shot, the hundreds he burned, the millions he contributed to. How could a single human forgive on the behalf of 6 million dead lives? I would not be able to. Simon was not able to. But say I did say yes. I forgot the kid with the longing eyes, the families falling from the windows, and the countless others and just forgave the man. It would all be a lie. For every Nazi that died, how many Jews died? How many children died? And he wants peace of mind?! I would not lie to the man so he could die without guilt. How could he ask someone to lie on the behalf of millions just so he could have peace of mind? He made the choice; He’ll face the consequences. But at the same time, he is human, just like me and just like you. I would tell him that I thought that his intentions were good, but that I could not forgive him on behalf of all Jews or erase for him any of his wrong doings. Simply that I give him my compassion but not the forgiveness he desired. And that I wish he dies in peace.
The Sunflower Essay
By Elaina Smith
May 18, 2011
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