While a young man Simon Wiesenthal was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp. One day whilst he is doing manual work at a High School turned into a military hospital he is called by a nurse to the bedside of a dying SS member. The man wishes to confess his crime – that of taking part in the massacre of several hundred Jews – to a Jew and to receive forgiveness. Simon Wiesenthal walks away from his bedside without a word.

The rest of the book is turned over to 53 responses to Wiesenthal’s story and question: did I do the right thing? Responses are drawn from illustrious individuals, such as the Dalai Lama, Primo Levi, and Desmond Tutu, to name a few. They discuss the concept of forgiveness, its possibilities, who can, and has a duty to, dispense it. In doing so they force you to consider the book’s relevance to today’s world as it raises questions about man, his nature and what our personal duties to both each other and ourselves are: issues that every individual has a duty to consider.