by Ron Townsend on July 5, 2007This book has a small book by Simon Wiesenthal, the Nazi Hunter, about a visit with
a dying Nazi SS soldier during his imprisonment in a concentration camp. Following
the story are four score commentaries on the book by living and nonliving writers.
Even though Mr. Wiesenthal had no idea at the time of the conversation that 89 of
his relatives died in the camps he surely was a person to confess to. And even if
the soldier couldn' t directly face his victims he did face Wiesenthal who would go
on to find many of the Nazi perpetrators after the war. I personally feel that Wiesenthal
did the right thing by listening to the soldier, walking away in silence, and then visiting
the soldier's mother after the war. There are some things that cannot under any
circumstances be forgiven. If all people go to heaven, Hitler, as a budding artist, should
spend the rest of eternity painting the portraits of the victims of his mass genocide.
However, I believe in hell and that's where this soldier and Hitler are. The fact that
Simon Wiesenthal spent 96 years on this earth was God's plan and the fact that he
listened to murderer's confession was also quite fitting. This book brings up many
questions that are hard to answer with any authority. How would I understand the
concentration camp Jew if I did not undergo it as he or she did. There is just not
any way to rationalize forgiveness. And don't blame God. God gave us people like
Wiesenthal and Frankl to deal with the horrors of the Holocaust. Let us be content
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