Tag Archives: Oskar Groening

Is Forgiveness Truly Possible?

To err is human; to forgive divine- Alexander Pope

In world news, former Nazi officer and Auschwitz bookkeeper Oskar Groening is on trial in Germany for the murder of 300,000 Hungarian Jews.

He admits his guilt and asks for forgiveness.

Forgiveness in his case is not so easy. If he were a child sneaking a cookie before dinner who was caught by one of his parents, forgiveness is probably easily obtained. But and his cohorts were responsible for the deaths of millions, whose only crime was to be different.

Granted, the man is 93 years old. Even if he is given a life sentence, how likely is it that he will live to see the end of it? It’s not very likely.

My only consolation is that another eyewitness has told his story. Most eyewitnesses are survivors. This time, one of the perpetrators confirms what history has already told us.

I’d like to forgive him, but in truth, I cannot. The deaths of millions of innocents cry out from the next world. Forgiveness is only possible when we can accept our neighbors for who they are, even if that means accepting that they are different from us.


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