As it Happened: The Archive Edition - The Forgiven Episode
Stories of absolution and atonement - from 50 years of AIH archives
"To err is human, to forgive divine."
The seven words in that oft-quoted phrase from English poet Alexander Pope say so much about how impossible it can often seem to turn the other cheek.
As the stories in this episode of As it Happened: The Archive Edition illustrate, expressing forgiveness can be extremely difficult in itself. And once expressed, it is often met with resistance — even condemnation of the person who has chosen to forgive.
Click on 'Listen' above to hear the broadcast version of the episode. Full-length versions of each of the interviews as they originally aired, as well as archival images, appear below.
I know if I would have spit on him, the world would applaud me. But what does it make me when I am acting revengeful?- Auschwitz survivor Eva Kor, on accepting a kiss from former SS guard Oskar Gröning at his trial
Chapter 1: Turning the other cheek
At the trial of a man accused of having been an SS guard at Auschwitz, a survivor accepts from him what many consider the unthinkable.
Chapter 2: Marked by faith
In the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Rais Bhuiyan was targeted for being Muslim — and then campaigned to spare the life of the man who shot him in the head.
Chapter 3: A second shot
Ian Manuel might have spent his entire life in prison for robbery and attempted murder, if not for help from an old friend — the woman he'd shot as a teen.
Chapter 4: Catching hell
More than a decade after Steve Bartman caught hell for some major league interference, fellow Chicago Cubs fans consider finally forgiving him.
Listen to the full episode audio at the top of this post.
Written and produced by Kevin Ball.
- AS IT HAPPENS: Man who forgave son's killer reunites with musician who sang his story
- AS IT HAPPENED: The Forgiveness Episode (2014)