The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness

The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness

by

Simon Wiesenthal

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Josek Character Analysis

Another of Simon’s friends in the camp. He is a businessman but Simon jokingly calls him “rabbi” because of his strong faith, which sometimes upsets Arthur. Like the others, Josek believes that Simon could not have forgiven Karl because Simon cannot forgive crimes that have been committed against others. Josek was also murdered in the concentration camps: one day he fell ill, and when he was unable to stand up to work, he was shot.

Josek Quotes in The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness

The The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness quotes below are all either spoken by Josek or refer to Josek. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Forgiveness and Compassion Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Schocken Books edition of The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness published in 1969.
Book 1: The Sunflower Quotes

One really begins to think that God is on leave. Otherwise the present state of things wouldn’t be possible […] What the old woman had said in no way shocked me, she had simply stated what I had long felt to be true.

Related Characters: Simon (speaker), Arthur, Josek
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:

“Why,” I asked, “is there no general law of guilt and expiation? Has every religion its own ethics, its own answers?”

“Probably, yes.”

Related Characters: Simon (speaker), Arthur (speaker), Karl, Josek
Page Number: 67
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Sunflower LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness PDF

Josek Character Timeline in The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness

The timeline below shows where the character Josek appears in The Sunflower: On the Possibilities and Limits of Forgiveness. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1: The Sunflower
Religion and Moral Truth Theme Icon
...Simon describes his group, which consists of his old friend Arthur and a Jew named Josek, whom he describes as sensitive and deeply religious. Simon is amazed at Josek’s faith, even... (full context)
Religion and Moral Truth Theme Icon
In fact, Josek was so steadfast in his faith that he often seemed entirely unaware of the bleak... (full context)
Religion and Moral Truth Theme Icon
Arthur interrupted Josek, saying that the Jews may have been made out of this earth, but the camp... (full context)
Remembrance Theme Icon
When the prisoners arrive back at the camp, Simon sees Arthur and Josek, and joins them for dinner. Arthur notes that Simon looks depressed. Simon looks over at... (full context)
Forgiveness and Compassion Theme Icon
...five men who had been shot that day. He hesitates, but then tells Arthur and Josek Karl’s story. (full context)
Forgiveness and Compassion Theme Icon
Religion and Moral Truth Theme Icon
Josek remains with Simon. He says he had worried that Simon might actually forgive Karl, because... (full context)
Forgiveness and Compassion Theme Icon
Religion and Moral Truth Theme Icon
Remembrance Theme Icon
Josek explains that he believes in Haolam Emes (which he defines as another world where humans... (full context)
Forgiveness and Compassion Theme Icon
Simon asks what Josek thinks of Karl’s repentance and the fact that he was truly in torment over his... (full context)
Forgiveness and Compassion Theme Icon
...past. The rest of the day he works in a trance. That night, he tells Josek and Arthur of Karl’s death. They are not particularly interested, but tell Simon that he... (full context)
Anti-Semitism and Dehumanization Theme Icon
...during an epidemic of typhus. Adam was sent to the pipe after spraining his ankle. Josek and Simon were separated, and one day Simon found out that Josek had gotten a... (full context)
Christopher Hollis
Forgiveness and Compassion Theme Icon
Religion and Moral Truth Theme Icon
Anti-Semitism and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Hollis addresses the arguments made by Arthur and Josek: that Simon could not forgive sins committed against someone else. Hollis argues that Karl’s crime... (full context)