Instructions for this Q&A as you have with earlier ones. Be aware that I am not providing most of the page numbers for you. You should be able to find them for yourself



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The Sunflower - Simon Wiesenthal Alpert 327

Weekly Q&A#11

Follow the instructions for this Q&A as you have with earlier ones. Be aware that I am not providing most of the page numbers for you. You should be able to find them for yourself.
Q# 1 Briefly explain what the Holocaust was (be sure to use and cite an outside source(s)).
Q# 2 Describe each of the following characters: Arthur, Josek, and Simon.
Q# 3 Answer Simon’s questions: “Were we truly all made of the same stuff? If so, why were some murderers and others victims?” (p. 7) Your answer should attempt to get at the question: Are we all equal?
Q# 4 What are Simon’s attitudes toward God and his situation within the work camp? What do you think of the idea “God is on leave” (p. 8) and how might that influence our ideas on punishment and justice?
Q# 5 For Simon, what do the sunflowers represent? (What is their significance in his mind?)
Q# 6 Give an example of how did the anti-Semitic Polish students treat the Jewish students. How did the “Radical elements” in Poland attempt to “force” Jewish students out of school? Have you ever felt that your education was in jeopardy?
Q# 7 What memories does Simon have as the Red Cross nurse leads him through the “Reserve Hospital”? To whom does she lead Simon?
Q# 8 Describe the dying man (name, age, occupation, parents, childhood, religion, NAZI involvement, etc.). Why has the dying man/Karl summoned Simon to the side of his deathbed?
Q# 9 What are some of the thoughts, feelings, and/or questions running through Simon’s mind as the dying man begins his story? Would you have different or similar questions?

Weekly Q&A#12

Follow the instructions for this Q&A as you have with earlier ones. Be aware that I am not providing most of the page numbers for you. You should be able to find them for yourself.
Q# 1 What crime(s) does Karl confess to Simon? What memory does Karl’s story trigger in Simon? What is so tragic about this memory for Simon?
Q# 2 What trick did the SS Group Leader, Katzmann, employ to round up the remaining children in the Jewish Ghetto? What became of the children? How does Simon’s memories of lost children change his feelings toward the dying SS soldier?
Q# 3 What rationale does Karl give for his involvement in his now confessed crimes. To what extent do you accept this rationale?
Q# 4 What accident put the SS soldier in the hospital? What caused him to hesitate in the German assault on Tagamog? Does this count as a sort of punishment? (Would our criminologists agree?)
Q# 5 Answer Simon’s questions: “He sought my pity, but had he any right to pity? Did a man of his kind deserve anybody’s pity?” (p. 52) Your answer should address whether Karl is deserving of sympathy and/or pity.
Q# 6 What does the SS soldier ask of Simon? Why? What is Simon’s “answer” to Karl’s final request?
Q# 7 What are your initial reactions to Simon’s “answer”? Did Simon act rightly or wrongly? Should he have done something different?
Q# 8 Did Simon have the “right” to forgive the dying SS man? Do any of us have the “right” to forgive wrongs we, ourselves have not experienced? Are there times when forgiveness is understandably impossible? Note: You may wish to consider what retributivism has to say about forgiveness, mercy, etc.
Q# 9 What “sad but characteristic story” do the newcomers tell Simon and the others? What was the Nazi purpose for such public executions? (p. 57). How (if at all) does this fit into our ideas of punishment as discussed in this class?
Q# 10 What does Simon believe would be Arthur’s reaction to his encounter with Karl? What is Arthur’s initial reaction? What is Josek’s initial response to Simon’s encounter with Karl? What is Simon’s counter-argument to this response?

Weekly Q&A#13

Follow the instructions for this Q&A as you have with earlier ones. Be aware that I am not providing most of the page numbers for you. You should be able to find them for yourself.
Q# 1 What has happened to the SS man? What does the nurse give Simon? What is his reaction?
Q# 2 Explain Arthur’s philosophy about what is wrong with the world in his lecture to Simon beginning with “If we survive this camp” to “We are indulging in a luxury...” (p. 75).
Q# 3 Who is Bolek? What are Bolek’s various points about what Simon could have done, did, and should have done for the SS man? (pp. 79-83).
Q# 4 What happens to Simon? To Bolek? How does Simon feel about “restarting” his life? In 1946, where do Simon and his wife go? What does Simon see there? What does it remind him of?
Q# 5 What does Karl’s mother say about her husband’s opinion of Hitler and her son’s early involvement with the Nazis? As Simon listens to her story, what does he conclude about how Germans and Austrians felt about Nazi socialism? What does Simon conclude about the question of German guilt? With what consolation did he want to leave her?
Q# 6 Why did Simon not tell this woman the truth about her son? Do you agree with this action? Would you have done the same?
Q# 7 Years later, how do the thoughts of Karl still haunt Simon? What reflections does Simon have about “people like him” (p. 95)?
Q# 8 What does Simon recall about the Nazis during their trial at Stuttgart? According to Simon, what does the world today demand?
Q# 9

Answer the questions Simon poses at the end of The Sunflower: “Was my silence at the bedside of the dying Nazi right or wrong?” (p. 97) Do we even have the right to forgive? What moral obligation do we have to remember? What should Simon have done?


Q# 10 “You, who have just read this sad and tragic episode in my life, can mentally change places with me and ask yourself the same question, ‘What would I have done?’” (p. 98) Do so. Explain what you would have done and why.

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