PDF | Regarding the overall human condition, contemporary The psychology of Viktor Frankl says that this is not the whole of the truth. Freedom and God in su ering. e legacy of Viktor Frankl in our time, held in Seele von Gott nach der Existenzanalyse und Logotherapie Viktor E. Frankls. Viktor Frankl was born on 26 March in the Jewish district of Leopold- Viktor Frankl Library and Memorabilia in Berkeley, Frankl proclaimed, “Man's.
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With more than 4 million copies in print in the English language alone, Man's Search for Meaning, the chilling yet inspirational story of Viktor Frankl's struggle to. C. George Boeree: Personality Theories Viktor Frankl. VIKTOR FRANKL Viktor Frankl was born in Vienna on March 26, His father, Gabriel Frankl, was. PDF | Equivalent parts biographical and theoretical, this paper provides a discussion of the main historical events and contributions of Viktor.
As the day of any more but fate itself which seemed so cruel. With the majority of the prisoners, the primitive life and the effort of having to concentrate on just saving one's skin In general there was also a "cultural hibernation" in led to a total disregard of anything not serving that purpose, the camp. Frankl notes the reaction of train passengers as they approached Auschwitz: We were to hear oner's formal admission to the camp. What were you, swine? Describe how the viewing of these images enhance the reading experience. He also held guest professorships at several American colleges and universities, including Harvard University and Duquesne University.
We were us then! We envied those prisoners their relatively well- glad when there was time to delouse before going to bed, regulated, secure and happy life. They surely had regular although in itself this was no pleasure, as it meant standing opportunities to take baths, we thought sadly. But we were thankful if there was no air raid alarm arate one for each of them—and monthly mail bringing during this operation and the lights were not switched off.
We had lost all that half the night. Real We were sick and did not have to leave camp for work; we positive pleasures, even small ones, were very few. One occurred when, sick and for the daily helping of soup watered down and on returning from work, I was admitted to the cook house also decreased in quantity. But how content we were; after a long wait and was assigned to the line filing up to happy in spite of everything. While we cowered against prisoner-cook F. The door was flung open, and the snowstorm gardless of recipient, and who did not make favorites of his blew into our hut.
An exhausted comrade, covered with personal friends or countrymen, picking out the potatoes snow, stumbled inside to sit down for a few minutes.
But for them, while the others got watery soup skimmed from the senior warden turned him out again. It was strictly the top. How sorry I was for that fellow who put their own people above everyone else. Against the urgent advice about it. For colleagues offered their services , I decided to volunteer. I at that moment I saw it all again: I thought that it would doubtless be more to the versed in methods of torture and sadism.
They drove the purpose to try and help my comrades as a doctor than to herd incessantly, backwards and forwards, with shouts, vegetate or finally lose my life as the unproductive laborer kicks and blows. And we, the sheep, thought of two things that I was then. But food. We tions. The central position had the added advantage of affording protection against the bitter winds.
But at one's closest friends alive lost its value. Do not be conspicuous. We tried at all ened all the values he held and threw them into doubt. Under the influence of a world which no longer recognized There were times, of course, when it was possible, and the value of human life and human dignity, which had even necessary, to keep away from the crowd. It is well robbed man of his will and had made him an object to be known that an enforced community life, in which attention exterminated having planned, however, to make full use is paid to everything one does at all times, may result in an of him first—to the last ounce of his physical resources — irresistible urge to get away, at least for a short while.
The under this influence the personal ego finally suffered a loss prisoner craved to be alone with himself and his thoughts. If the man in the concentration camp did not He yearned for privacy and for solitude. Behind the mind, with inner freedom and personal value. He thought earthen hut where I worked and in which were crowded of himself then as only a part of an enormous mass of about fifty delirious patients, there was a quiet spot in a people; his existence descended to the level of animal life.
A tent had been improvised there with a few poles another; sometimes driven together, then apart—like a and branches of trees in order to shelter a half-dozen flock of sheep without a thought or a will of their own.
A corpses the daily death rate in the camp. There was also a small but dangerous pack watched them from all sides, well shaft leading to the water pipes. I was hardened, but possibly became more conscious of this just sat and looked out at the green flowering slopes and complete disregard of human existence when a convoy of the distant blue hills of the Bavarian landscape, framed by sick men was arranged.
The emaciated bodies of the sick the meshes of barbed wire. I dreamed longingly, and my were thrown on two-wheeled carts which were drawn by thoughts wandered north and northeast, in the direction of prisoners for many miles, often through snowstorms, to the my home, but I could only see clouds.
If one of the sick men had died before the cart The corpses near me, crawling with lice, did not bother left, he was thrown on anyway—the list had to be correct I me.
Only the steps of passing guards could rouse me from The list was the only thing that mattered. A man counted my dreams; or perhaps it would be a call to the sick-bay or only because he had a prison number. One literally became to collect a newly arrived supply of medicine for my hut— a number: What stood behind several days for fifty patients.
I collected them and then did that number and that life mattered even less: But the desperately ill received tients that I, in my capacity as a doctor, had to accompany no medicine. It would not have helped, and besides, it from one camp in Bavaria to another, there was a young would have deprived those for whom there was still some prisoner whose brother was not on the list and therefore hope.
For light cases, I had nothing, except perhaps a word would have to be left behind. The young man begged so of encouragement. Then I went back to my lonely ment, preferred to stay behind. That was easy. The brother just exchanged numbers This shaft, incidentally, once saved the lives of three with the other prisoner. Shortly before liberation, mass transports As I have mentioned before, we had no documents; were organized to go to Dachau, and these three prisoners everyone was lucky to own his body, which, after all, was wisely tried to avoid the trip.
They climbed down the shaft still breathing. All else about us, i. I calmly sat on the lid, our gaunt skeletons, was only of interest if we were assigned looking innocent and playing a childish game of throwing to a transport of sick patients. The departing "Moslems" pebbles at the barbed wire. Soon I could tell their coats or shoes were not better than one's own.
After the three men below that the worst danger was over. But those who stayed behind in camp, who were still capable of some work, had to make use of every means to improve their chances of survival. They It is very difficult for an outsider to grasp how very little were not sentimental. A quarter of an hour later the transport was canceled, but the eighty-two stayed on the list for the night shift. For the majority of them, this meant death within the next In Auschwitz I had laid down a rule for myself which fortnight.
I generally answered all kinds of questions second time. Again no one knew whether this was a ruse to truthfully. If I were asked my age, I gave it. If teen days—or whether it would go to the gas ovens or to a asked about my profession, I said "doctor," but did not genuine rest camp. The first morning in Auschwitz an SS officer came ing to me, told me furtively one evening at a quarter to ten, to the parade ground.
We had to fall into separate groups "I have made it known in the orderly room that you can of prisoners: Then we were examined for till ten o'clock. The I told him that this was not my way; that I had learned group that I was in was driven to another hut, where we to let fate take its course.
There was a look of pity in his eyes, as if he ing answered questions as to my age and profession, I was knew. He shook my hand silently, as though it were a sent to another small group. Once more we were driven to farewell, not for life, but from life. Slowly I walked back another hut and grouped differently. This continued for to my hut. There I found a good friend waiting for me. Then came the last selection, and I found myself Tears came to his eyes and I tried to comfort him.
Then back in the group that had been with me in the first hut! They had barely noticed that I had been sent from hut to "Listen, Otto, if I don't get back home to my wife, and if hut in the meantime.
But I was aware that in those few you should see her again, then tell her that I talked of her minutes fate had passed me in many different forms. You remember. Secondly, I have loved her When the transport of sick patients for the "rest camp" more than anyone. Thirdly, the short time I have been was organized, my name that is, my number was put on married to her outweighs everything, even all we have gone the list, since a few doctors were needed. But no one was through here.
A few Otto, where are you now? Are you alive? Did you find Then, too, everyone had thought that it was destined for your wife again? And do you remember how I made you the gas ovens. When it was announced that anyone who learn my will by heart—word for word—in spite of your volunteered for the dreaded night shift would be taken off childlike tears?
This This escape from commitment was most apparent when a time it was not a ruse. We were not heading for the gas prisoner had to make the decision for or against an escape chambers, and we actually did go to a rest camp. Those who attempt.
In those minutes in which he had to make up had pitied me remained in a camp where famine was to his mind—and it was always a question of minutes—he rage even more fiercely than in our new camp.
They tried suffered the tortures of Hell. Should he make the attempt to to save themselves, but they only sealed their own fates. Should he take the risk? Months later, after liberation, I met a friend from the old I, too, experienced this torment. As the battle-front drew camp. He related to me how he, as camp policeman, had nearer, I had the opportunity to escape.
A colleague of searched for a piece of human flesh that was missing from a mine who had to visit huts outside the camp in the course pile of corpses. He confiscated it from a pot in which he of his medical duties wanted to escape and take me with found it cooking.
Cannibalism had broken out. I had left him. Under the pretense of holding a consultation about a just in time. Outside the camp, a member of a foreign A rich and mighty Persian once walked in his garden with resistance movement was to supply us with uniforms and one of his servants. At the last moment there were some technical countered Death, who had threatened him. He begged his difficulties and we had to return to camp once more. We master to give him his fastest horse so that he could make used this opportunity to provide ourselves with provisions haste and flee to Teheran, which he could reach that same —a few rotten potatoes—and to look for a rucksack.
The master consented and the servant galloped off We broke into an empty hut of the women's camp, which on the horse. On returning to his house the master himself was vacant, as the women had been sent to another camp. There were rags, showed surprise in still finding him here when I planned straw, rotting food, and broken crockery.
Some bowls were to meet him tonight in Teheran," said Death. We knew that lately, as conditions had become desperate, they had been The camp inmate was frightened of making decisions used not only for food, but also as washbasins and chamber and of taking any sort of initiative whatsoever.
This was the pots. There was a strictly enforced rule against having any result of a strong feeling that fate was one's master, and kind of utensil in the hut. However, some people were that one must not try to influence it in any way, but instead forced to break this rule, especially the typhus patients, who let it take its own course. In addition, there was a great were much too weak to go outside even with help. At times, lightning decisions had to be turned shortly with a rucksack which he hid under his coat.
The prisoner He had seen another one inside which I was to take. So we would have preferred to let fate make the choice for him. Even the few among all the things that had been left behind, the body of remaining prisoners the sick, a few doctors, and some a woman.
At night, the camp was to be I ran back to my hut to collect all my possessions: In the afternoon the trucks which were to collect food bowl, a pair of torn mittens "inherited" from a dead the sick had not yet appeared. Instead the camp gates were typhus patient, and a few scraps of paper covered with suddenly closed and the barbed wire closely watched, so shorthand notes on which, as I mentioned before, I had that no one could attempt an escape.
For the Auschwitz. I made a quick last round of my patients, who second time my friend and I decided to escape. I came to my only countryman, who was the barbed wire fence. We were the only two in camp who almost dying, and whose life it had been my ambition to had strength enough to do the job. Nearly all the others lay save in spite of his condition.
I had to keep my intention to in the few huts which were still in use, prostrate with fever escape to myself, but my comrade seemed to guess that and delirium. We now made our plans: In a tired voice he asked me, "You, too, are getting in the old laundry tub which served as a coffin. When we out? After my round I returned to him. Again a hopeless sack, and on the third trip we intended to make our escape.
The first two trips went according to plan. Suddenly I decided to take fate into my own hands next few days in the woods. I waited. Minutes passed. I for once.
I ran out of the hut and told my friend that I became more and more impatient as he did not return. I did not know what toward the battle-front. But we did not get that far.
I returned gate was thrown open. A splendid, aluminum-colored car, to the hut, sat down on the boards at my countryman's feet on which were painted large red crosses, slowly rolled on to and tried to comfort him; then I chatted with the others, the parade ground.
A delegate from the International Red trying to quiet them in their delirium. Cross in Geneva had arrived, and the camp and its inmates Our last day in camp arrived. As the battle-front came were under his protection. The delegate billeted himself in nearer, mass transports had taken nearly all the prisoners to a farmhouse in the vicinity, in order to be near the camp at other camps.
The camp authorities, the Capos and the all times in case of emergency. Who worried about escape cooks had fled. On this day an order was given that the now? Impatiently we sat down, keeping reigned supreme. We had to wait a long In our excitement we had forgotten the third body, so we time. Finally we lay down on the mattresses of the deserted carried it outside and dropped it into the narrow grave we guard-room, exhausted by the excitement of the last few had dug for the three corpses.
We slept in our clothes and gentle. He saw that the tables might be turned and tried to shoes, ready for the journey. He joined in the short prayers that we The noise of rifles and cannons woke us; the flashes of offered for the dead men before throwing soil over them.
The chief After the tension and excitement of the past days and doctor dashed in and ordered us to take cover on the floor. That awakened me all rightl uttered by the human voice. Then we grasped what was happening: The shooting decreased and morning dawned. But we had rejoiced too early. The Red Cross Outside on the pole at the camp gate a white flag floated in delegate had assured us that an agreement had been signed, the wind.
But that night the SS arrived with trucks and brought an order to clear the camp. The last remaining prisoners were to be taken to a Many weeks later we found out that even in those last central camp, from which they would be sent to Switzerland hours fate had toyed with us few remaining prisoners. We scarcely recognized the SS. They were so pecially in matters of life and death. I was confronted with friendly, trying to persuade us to get in the trucks without photographs which had been taken in a small camp not far fear, telling us that we should be grateful for our good luck.
My this camp, and there they were locked in the huts and friend and I—we did not hide our rucksacks now—stood in burned to death. I thought again of Death in next to last truck. The thirteen were loaded into the truck and we had to stay behind. Hunger been tired and distracted. The lack of fight. I was usually very tired, since we ther nicotine nor caffeine also contributed to the state of had to stoke our stove—which we were allowed to keep in apathy and irritability.
Besides these physical causes, there were mental ones, in However, some of the most idyllic hours I have ever spent the form of certain complexes. The majority of prisoners were in the middle of the night when all the others were suffered from a kind of inferiority complex. We all had delirious or sleeping.
I could lie stretched out in front of once been or had fancied ourselves to be "somebody. But how many free men, let alone prisoners, possess it? Therefore, I was responsible to the camp authority structure of the camp.
Some of torture than of hygiene. More food and a few drugs even developed miniature delusions of grandeur. For instance, I heard one prisoner talk patients were tucked in neatly at their feet.
As to the fate of to another about a Capo, saying, "Imagine! I knew that the inmates, they were quite unconcerned. If I reported man when he was only the president of a large bank. Isn't it smartly, whipping my prison cap from my shorn head and fortunate that he has risen so far in the world? But until they arrived—often they portunities for this, starting with the distribution of food were hours later than announced, and sometimes did not the results were explosive.
Apathy was particularly increased among the feverish men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving patients, so that they did not react at all unless they were away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in shouted at. Even this failed at times, and then it took number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can tremendous self-control not to strike them.
For one's own be taken from a man but one thing: And there were always choices to make. But what about human liberty? Is there no spiritual the mere expression of certain physical and sociological freedom in regard to behavior and reaction to any given conditions.
Even though conditions such as lack of sleep, surroundings? Most important, do the prisoners' not the result of camp influences alone. Does man have no choice of action in the face of He may retain his human dignity even in a concentration such circumstances?
Dostoevski said once, "There is only one thing that I We can answer these questions from experience as well as dread: The experiences of camp life show that man frequently came to my mind after I became acquainted does have a choice of action.
Man can preserve a dom cannot be lost. It can be said that they were worthy of vestige of spiritual freedom, of independence of mind, even their sufferings; the way they bore their suffering was a in such terrible conditions of psychic and physical stress. I once read a letter written by a young invalid, in life of enjoyment affords him the opportunity to obtain which he told a friend that he had just found out he would fulfillment in experiencing beauty, art, or nature.
But there not live for long, that even an operation would be of no is also purpose in that life which is almost barren of both help. The boy had thought it a to his existence, an existence restricted by external forces.
A great accomplishment to meet death so well. Now—he creative life and a life of enjoyment are banned to him. But wrote—fate was offering him a similar chance. If Those of us who saw the film called Resurrection—taken there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a from a book by Tolstoy—years ago, may have had similar meaning in suffering.
Suffering is an ineradicable part of thoughts. Here were great destinies and great men. For us, life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death at that time, there was no great fate; there was no chance to human life cannot be complete. After the picture we went to the The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the nearest cafe, and over a cup of coffee and a sandwich we suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, forgot the strange metaphysical thoughts which for one gives him ample opportunity—even under the most difficult moment had crossed our minds.
But when we ourselves circumstances—to add a deeper meaning to his life. It may were confronted with a great destiny and faced with the remain brave, dignified and unselfish. Or in the bitter fight decision of meeting it with equal spiritual greatness, by for self-preservation he may forget his human dignity and then we had forgotten our youthful resolutions of long ago, become no more than an animal.
Here lies the chance for a and we failed. And this decides whether he is worthy of his tures may have simultaneously unrolled before one's inner sufferings or not. Some details of a too far removed from real life. It is true that only a few particular man's inner greatness may have come to one's people are capable of reaching such high moral standards. It is a simple story.
Such men This young woman knew that she would die in the next are not only in concentration camps. Everywhere man is few days. On entering camp a change took place in the did not take spiritual accomplishments seriously. With the end of uncertainty there came through the window of the hut, she said, "This tree here is the uncertainty of the end. It was impossible to foresee the only friend I have in my loneliness. I was startled and didn't quite know finish, and a goal to reach.
A man who could not see the how to take her words. Was she delirious? Did she have end of his "provisional existence" was not able to aim at an occasional hallucinations? Anxiously I asked her if the tree ultimate goal in life. He ceased living for the future, in replied. She answered, "It contrast to a man in normal life. The unemployed worker, for example, is in a similar position. Psychological observations of the sort of deformed time—inner time—which is a result of prisoners have shown that only the men who allowed their their unemployed state.
Prisoners, too, suffered from this inner hold on their moral and spiritual selves to subside strange "time-experience. A larger time unit, perhaps a week, constituted this "inner hold"? How ences, agree that the most depressing influence of all was paradoxical was our time-experience!
He had been given no date for his which contains some very pointed psychological remarks. In our camp it was pointless even to talk about it. His life had seemed to him absolutely others of us, the mediocre and the half-hearted, the words without future. He regarded it as over and done, as if he of Bismarck could be applied: This feeling of lifelessness was intensified dentist. You always think that the worst is still to come, and by other causes: Anything outside the barbed tunities of life had passed.
Yet, in reality, there was an wire became remote—out of reach and, in a way, unreal. One could make a victory of The events and the people outside, all the normal life those experiences, turning life into an inner triumph, or there, had a ghostly aspect for the prisoner.
The outside one could ignore the challenge and simply vegetate, as did life, that is, as much as he could see of it, appeared to him a majority of the prisoners. A man who let himself decline because he could not see Any attempt at fighting the camp's psychopathological any future goal found himself occupied with retrospective influence on the prisoner by psychotherapeutic or psycho- thoughts. In a different connection, we have already spoken hygienic methods had to aim at giving him inner strength of the tendency there was to look into the past, to help by pointing out to him a future goal to which he could look forward.
Instinctively some of the prisoners attempted to I make the present, with all its horrors, less real. It find one on their own. Regarding our "provisional existence" as unreal was existence, although he sometimes has to force his mind to in itself an important factor in causing the prisoners to lose the task.
I remember a personal experience. Instead of taking men from the camp to our work site. Very cold, bitter winds the camp's difficulties as a test of their inner strength, they struck us. I kept thinking of the endless little problems of did not take their life seriously and despised it as something our miserable life. What would there be to eat tonight? If a of no consequence. They preferred to close their eyes and to piece of sausage came as extra ration, should I exchange it live in the past.
Life for such people became meaningless. Should I trade my last cigarette, which Naturally only a few people were capable of reaching was left from a bonus I received a fortnight ago, for a bowl great spiritual heights. But a few were given the chance to of soup? How could I get a piece of wire to replace the attain human greatness even through their apparent worldly fragment which served as one of my shoelaces?
Would I failure and death, an accomplishment which in ordinary get to our work site in time to join my usual working party circumstances they would never have achieved. What could I do to get on good We all feared this moment—not for terms with the Capo, who could help me to ourselves, which would have been pointless, obtain work in camp instead of undertaking but for our friends. Usually it began with the this horribly long daily march? I forced my effect. He just lay there, hardly thoughts to turn to another subject.
Suddenly I saw myself standing on the platform of a well-lit, warm and pleasant lecture room. In front of me sat an attentive audience on comfortable upholstered seats. I was giving a lecture on the psychology of the concentration camp! All that oppressed me at that moment became objective, seen and described from the remote viewpoint of science. By this method I succeeded somehow in rising above the situation, above the sufferings of the moment, and I observed them as if they were already of the past.
Both I and my troubles became the object of an interesting psychoscientific study undertaken by myself. What does Spinoza say in his Ethics? The prisoner who had lost faith in the future—his future —was doomed. With his loss of belief in the future, he also lost his spiritual hold; he let himself decline and became subject to mental and physical decay.
Usually this happened quite suddenly, in the form of a crisis, the symptoms of which were familiar to the experienced camp inmate. If this crisis was brought about by an ated and our sufferings come to an end. He simply "In February, ," he answered. It was gave up.
There he remained, lying in his then the beginning of March. F , my senior block warden, a dream would be fairly well- right. But as the promised day drew nearer, known composer and librettist, confided in the war news me one day: I unlikely that have had a we would be free on the promised date. On strange dream. A voice told me that I could March twenty- wish for some ninth, F suddenly became ill and ran a thing, that I should only say what I wanted high tempera to know, and ture.
On March thirtieth, the day his all my questions would be answered. What do prophecy had told you think I him that the war and suffering would be over asked? That I would like to know when the for him, he war would be became delirious and lost consciousness. On over for me. You know what I mean, Doctor March thirty- —for me! I first, he was dead. To all outward wanted to know when we, when our camp, appearances, he had died would be liber of typhus. He was soon lost. The typical reply with which stand that the sudden loss of hope and courage can have a such a man rejected all encouraging arguments was, "I have deadly effect.
The ultimate cause of my friend's death was nothing to expect from life any more. His faith in the our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, future and his will to live had become paralyzed and his furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it body fell victim to illness—and thus the voice of his dream did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather was right after all.
We needed to stop asking about The observations of this one case and the conclusion the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as drawn from them are in accordance with something that those who were being questioned by life—daily and hourly. The death rate in the week between right action and in right conduct. Life ultimately means Christmas, , and New Year's, , increased in camp taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its beyond all previous experience.
It was simply that the from man to man, and from moment to moment. Thus it is majority of the prisoners had lived in the naive hope that impossible to define the meaning of life in a general way. As the time drew Questions about the meaning of life can never be answered near and there was no encouraging news, the prisoners lost by sweeping statements.
This had a vague, but something very real and concrete, just as life's dangerous influence on their powers of resistance and a tasks are also very real and concrete.
No As we said before, any attempt to restore a man's inner man and no destiny can be compared with any other man strength in the camp had first to succeed in showing him or any other destiny. No situation repeats itself, and each some future goal. Nietzsche's words, "He who has a why to situation calls for a different response.
Sometimes man their lives, in order to strengthen them to bear the terrible may be required simply to accept fate, to bear his cross. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even The tender beginnings of a psychotherapy or psycho- in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one hygiene were, when they were possible at all in the camp, can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His either individual or collective in nature.
The individual unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his psychotherapeutic attempts were often a kind of "life- burden. A very strict camp ruling far removed from reality. They were the only thoughts that forbade any efforts to save a man who attempted suicide. It could be of help to us. They kept us from despair, even was forbidden, for example, to cut down a man who was when there seemed to be no chance of coming out of it trying to hang himself. Therefore, it was all important to alive.
Long ago we had passed the stage of asking what was prevent these attempts from occurring. Both men had talked of something of value. For us, the meaning of life embraced their intentions to commit suicide.
Both used the typical the wider cycles of life and death, of suffering and of dying. In Once the meaning of suffering had been revealed to us, both cases it was a question of getting them to realize that we refused to minimize or alleviate the camp's tortures by life was still expecting something from them; something in ignoring them or harboring false illusions and entertaining the future was expected of them.
We found, in fact, that for artificial optimism. Suffering had become a task on which the one it was his child whom he adored and who was we did not want to turn out backs. We had realized its waiting for him in a foreign country. For the other it was a hidden opportunities for achievement, the opportunities thing, not a person. His aufzuleiden!
But there was ing on creative work as much as it does on human love. Only allows the responsibility which a man has for his existence very few realized that. Shamefacedly some confessed occa- and its continuance to appear in all its magnitude. Then, to make matters even a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an worse, the light went out.
Tempers reached their lowest unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. But our senior block warden was a wise man. He talked about the many comrades who had died in the last few days, either of sickness or of suicide. He maintained that there urally limited in camp. A senior block warden who from reaching this extreme state. I was cold and tive than that of words. But at times a word was effective hungry, irritable and tired, but I had to make the effort too, when mental receptiveness had been intensified by and use this unique opportunity.
Encouragement was now some outer circumstances. I remember an incident when more necessary than ever. I said that even in this Europe in the sixth winter of receptiveness because of a certain external situation. On parade, an announcement had terrible we could think of. I said that each of us had to ask been made about the many actions that would, from then himself what irreplaceable losses he had suffered up to then.
Among these were crimes been few. Whoever was still alive had reason for hope. After all, we still had all our potato store to steal a few pounds of potatoes. The theft bones intact. Whatever we had gone through could still be had been discovered and some prisoners had recognized the an asset to us in the future. And I quoted from Nietzsche: Naturally the 2, Then I spoke about the future.
I agreed that each of On the evening of this day of fasting we lay in our us could guess for himself how small were his chances of earthen huts—in a very low mood. Very little was said and survival. But I also told them that, in spite of this, I dead, or a God—and he would not expect us to disappoint had no intention of losing hope and giving up.
For no man him. He would hope to find us suffering proudly—not knew what the future would bring, much less the next miserably—knowing how to die.
Even if we could not expect any sensational military And finally I spoke of our sacrifice, which had meaning events in the next few days, who knew better than we, with in every case. It was in the nature of this sacrifice that it our experience of camps, how great chances sometimes should appear to be pointless in the normal world, the opened up, quite suddenly, at least for the individual.
For world of material success. But in reality our sacrifice did instance, one might be attached unexpectedly to a special have a meaning. Those of us who had any religious faith, I group with exceptionally good working conditions—for this said frankly, could understand without difficulty. I told was the kind of thing which constituted the "luck" of the them of a comrade who on his arrival in camp had tried to prisoner. I also mentioned the past; all its joys, For this man, suffering and death were meaningful; his was and how its light shone even in the present darkness.
Again a sacrifice of the deepest significance. He did not want to I quoted a poet—to avoid sounding like a preacher myself die for nothing. None of us wanted that. Not only our experiences, but hopeless situation. I saw that my efforts had been successful.
Having been is also a tears in their eyes. But I have to confess here that only too kind of being, and perhaps the surest kind. I asked the poor creatures who reactions: What can you tell us hopelessness of our struggle did not detract from its dignity about the psychological make-up of the camp guards?
How and its meaning. Having est market town. It is apparent that the mere knowledge that a man was either a camp guard or a prisoner tells us almost nothing. First, among the guards there were some sadists, sadists in Human kindness can be found in all groups, even those the purest clinical sense. The Second, these sadists were always selected when a really boundaries between groups overlapped and we must not try severe detachment of guards was needed.
Obviously this comfort from us. It was far more than the small piece of bread which to whom the unfortunate prisoner was sent. Third, the feelings of the majority of the guards had 1 An interesting incident with reference to this SS commander is in regard to the attitude toward him of some of his Jewish prisoners.
At been dulled by the number of years in which, in ever- the end of the war when the American troops liberated the prisoners increasing doses, they had witnessed the brutal methods of from our camp, three young Hungarian Jews hid this commander in the Bavarian woods.
These morally and mentally hardened men at can Forces who was very eager to capture this SS commander and they least refused to take active part in sadistic measures. After a while, the American officer finally Fourth, it must be stated that even among the guards promised these young Jews that the SS commander when taken into there were some who took pity on us.
I shall only mention captivity would be kept safe from harm. This time the guards offered us cigarettesi We hardly thing" which this man also gave to me—the word and look recognized them at first; they had hurriedly changed into which accompanied the gift. We walked slowly along the road leading From all this we may learn that there are two races of from the camp. Soon our legs hurt and threatened to men in this world, but only these two—the "race" of the buckle. But we limped on; we wanted to see the camp's decent man and the "race" of the indecent man.
Both are surroundings for the first time with the eyes of free men. In grasp it. We had said this word so often during all the years this sense, no group is of "pure race"—and therefore one we dreamed about it, that it had lost its meaning.
Its reality occasionally found a decent fellow among the camp guards. Is it surprising that in those depths We came to meadows full of flowers. We saw and realized we again found only human qualities which in their very that they were there, but we had no feelings about them. The rift dividing The first spark of joy came when we saw a rooster with a good from evil, which goes through all human beings, tail of multicolored feathers.
But it remained only a spark; reaches into the lowest depths and becomes apparent even we did not yet belong to this world. In describing the experiences of liberation, slowly. This state of inner suspense prisoners could be called "depersonalization. But it would be quite appeared unreal, unlikely, as in a dream. We could not wrong to think that we went mad with joy. What, then, did believe it was true. How often in the past years had we been happen?
Timidly we looked around and glanced at each greeted our friends, embraced our wives, sat down at the other questioningly. Then we ventured a few steps out of table and started to tell of all the things we had gone camp. Oh tion in our dreams. And now the dream had come true. But could ory can no longer recall. But I know that on that day, in we truly believe in it?
Step for step I progressed, until I again became a human being. The body has fewer inhibitions than the mind. It made good use of the new freedom from the first moment on. It The way that led from the acute mental tension of the began to eat ravenously, for hours and days, even half the last days in camp from that war of nerves to mental peace night. It is amazing what quantities one can eat. And when was certainly not free from obstacles. We have to consider that a man who which loosened his tongue, and he then began to talk, often has been under such enormous mental pressure for such a for hours.
The pressure which had been on his mind for long time is naturally in some danger after his liberation, years was released at last. Hearing him talk, one got the especially since the pressure was released quite suddenly. I have known people who have been under heavy psychological counterpart of the bends. Just as the physical pressure only for a short time for example, through a cross- health of the caisson worker would be endangered if he left examination by the Gestapo to have similar reactions.
During this psychological phase one observed that people with natures of a more primitive kind could not escape the One day, a few days after the liberation, I walked influences of the brutality which had surrounded them in through the country past flowering meadows, for miles and camp life. Now, being free, they thought they could use miles, toward the market town near the camp. Larks rose to their freedom licentiously and ruthlessly.
The only thing the sky and I could hear their joyous song. There was no that had changed for them was that they were now the one to be seen for miles around; there was nothing but the oppressors instead of the oppressed. They dom of space. I stopped, looked around, and up to the justified their behavior by their own terrible experiences.
At that moment This was often revealed in apparently insignificant events. My wife and child and that he could suffer still more, and still more intensely. He had to be reminded monplace truth that no one has the right to do wrong, not that life still waited for him, that a human being waited for even if wrong has been done to them.
We had to strive to his return. But after liberation? There were some men who lead them back to this truth, or the consequences would found that no one awaited them.
Woe to him who found have been much worse than the loss of a few thousand stalks that the person whose memory alone had given him courage of oats. I can still see the prisoner who rolled up his shirt in camp did not exist any more! Woe to him who, when the sleeves, thrust his right hand under my nose and shouted, day of his dreams finally came, found it so different from all "May this hand be cut off if I don't stain it with blood he had longed for!
Perhaps he boarded a trolley, traveled on the day when I get home! He had and only in his mind, and pressed the bell, just as he has been the best of comrades in camp and afterwards. When, on his return, a ing, our sacrifices and our dying. And yet we were not man found that in many places he was met only with a prepared for unhappiness. This disillusionment, which shrug of the shoulders and with hackneyed phrases, he awaited not a small number of prisoners, was an experience tended to become bitter and to ask himself why he had which these men have found very hard to get over and gone through all that he had.
When he heard the same which, for a psychiatrist, is also very difficult to help them phrases nearly everywhere—"We did not know about it," overcome. But this must not be a discouragement to him; and "We, too, have suffered," then he asked himself, have on the contrary, it should provide an added stimulus. The experience of disillusionment is different. Here it was not one's fellow man whose superficiality and lack of But for every one of the liberated prisoners, the day feeling was so disgusting that one finally felt like creeping comes when, looking back on his camp experiences, he can into a hole and neither hearing nor seeing human beings no longer understand how he endured it all.
As the day of any more but fate itself which seemed so cruel. The crowning experience of all, for the homecoming man, is the wonderful feeling that, after all he has suffered, there is nothing he need fear any more—except his God. But that was not enough, and I have been besieged by requests for a more extended treatment. The assignment was not easy. To convey to the reader within a short space all the material which required twenty volumes in German is an almost hopeless task.
However, there is something in it, inasmuch as logotherapy, in comparison with psychoanalysis, is a method less retrospective and less introspective. Logotherapy focuses rather on the future, that is to say, on the meanings to be fulfilled by the patient in his future. Logotherapy, indeed, is a meaning- centered psychotherapy. At the same time, logotherapy defocuses all the vicious-circle formations and feedback mechanisms which play such a great role in the development of neuroses.
Thus, the typical self-centeredness of the neurotic is broken up instead of being continually fostered and reinforced. To be sure, this kind of statement is an oversimplification; yet in logotherapy the patient is actually confronted with and reoriented toward the meaning of his life. And to make him aware of this meaning can contribute much to his ability to overcome his neurosis. Let me explain why I have employed the term "logotherapy" as the name for my theory.
Logos is a Greek word which denotes "meaning. According to logotherapy, this striving to find a meaning in one's life is the primary motivational force in man. Moreover, 61 percent conceded that there was something, or someone, in their Man's search for meaning is the primary own lives for whose sake they were even motivation in his life and not a "secondary ready to die. I repeated this poll at my rationalization" of instinctual drives.
This hospital department in Vienna among both meaning is unique and specific in that it must the patients and the personnel, and the and can be fulfilled by him alone; only then outcome was practically the same as among does it achieve a significance which will the thousands of people screened in France; the satisfy his own will to meaning.
There are difference was only 2 percent. Their preliminary report is part of be willing to live merely for the sake of my a two-year study sponsored by the National "defense mechanisms," nor would I be ready Institute of Mental Health. Asked what they to die merely for the sake of my "reaction considered "very important" to them now, 16 formations.
In these cases we have actually to deal with Noogenic neuroses do not emerge from pseudovalues, and as such they have to be conflicts between drives and instincts but unmasked. Unmasking, however, should stop rather from existential problems. If it does not stop then, the only thing that the "unmasking psychologist" really unmasks is his own "hidden motive"— namely, his unconscious need to debase and depreciate what is genuine, what is genuinely human, in man.
Existential frustration can also result in neuroses. For this type of neuroses, logotherapy has coined the term "noogenic neuroses" in contrast to neuroses in the traditional sense of the word, i.
Noogenic neuroses have their origin not in the psychological but rather in the "noological" from the Greek noos meaning mind dimension of human existence. This is another logotherapeutic term which denotes anything pertaining to the specifically human dimension. Among such problems, the frustration of the and, consequently, his dissatisfaction with his will to meaning plays a large role.
Through an appropriate and adequate therapy is not analysis lasting five years, the patient had psychotherapy in general but rather been prompted more and more to accept his logotherapy; a therapy, that is, which dares analyst's interpretations until he finally was to enter the specifically human dimension.
A of symbols and images. After a few high-ranking American diplomat came to my interviews, it was clear that his will to office in Vienna in order to continue meaning was frustrated by his vocation, and psychoanalytic treatment which he had begun he actually longed to be engaged in some five years previously with an analyst in New other kind of work.
As there was no reason York. He has remained It turned out that the patient was contented in this new occupation for over discontented with his career and found it five years, as he recently reported. I doubt most difficult to comply with American that, in this case, I was dealing with a foreign policy. Not every conflict is cess, tries to make the patient aware of what necessarily neurotic; some amount of conflict he actually longs for in the depth of his is normal and healthy.
In a similar sense being. I would instincts, or in merely reconciling the strictly deny that one's search for a meaning conflicting claims of to his existence, or even his doubt of it, in every case is derived from, or results in, any disease.
Existential frustration is in itself neither pathological nor pathogenic. A man's concern, even his despair, over the worthwhileness of life is an existential distress but by no means a mental disease. It may well be that interpreting the first in terms of the latter motivates a doctor to bury his patient's existential despair under a heap of tranquilizing drugs.
It is his task, rather, to pilot the patient through his existential crises of growth and development. Logotherapy regards its assignment as that of assisting the patient to find meaning in his life. Inasmuch as logotherapy makes him aware of the hidden logos of his existence, it is an analytical process. To this extent, logotherapy resembles psychoanalysis. However, in logotherapy's attempt to make something conscious again it does not restrict its activity to instinctual facts within the individual's unconscious but also cares for existential realities, such as the potential meaning of his existence to be fulfilled as well as his will to meaning.
However, precisely such write this manuscript anew helped me to tension is an indispensable prerequisite of survive the rigors of the camps I was in.
For mental health. There is nothing in the world, instance, when in a camp in Bavaria I fell ill I venture to say, that would so effectively help with typhus fever, I jotted down on little one to survive even the worst conditions as the scraps of paper many notes intended to knowledge that there is a meaning in one's enable me to rewrite the manuscript, should I life.
There is much wisdom in the words of live to the day of liberation. I am sure that Nietzsche: In the Nazi concentration camps, one could have witnessed that those 1 It was the first version of my first book, the English translation of which was published by Alfred who knew that there was a task waiting for A.
The depiction of this concentration camp experience is followed in MSFM by a poignant argument in favor of all aspects of Logotherapy. In essence, MSFM provides a living example of Logotherapy in practice, as Frankl writes about how he survived his experience in the Nazi concentration camp, before moving on to an in-depth account of the theory itself.
Frankl organizes MSFM into the following sections: For more on Nazi Holocaust terminology, go to www His life, therefore, spanned most of the twentieth century. As a teenager he was fascinated by philosophy, psychology, and psychoanalysis—the latter of which was theorized and popularized by Sigmund Freud. As a young adult, he supplemented his high school studies with adult education courses. He also began a correspondence with Freud. While in college, he worked for the psychotherapeutic department of the Psychiatric University Clinic.
Frankl earned a Doctorate in Medicine from the University of Vienna in From to , he was director of the Neurological Department of the Rothschild Hospital a hospital for Jewish patients.
In , Frankl received a Ph. Throughout his career, Frankl was in high demand on the lecture circuit. He also held guest professorships at several American colleges and universities, including Harvard University and Duquesne University.
The Viktor Frankl Institute was founded in Vienna in Winslade p. The book focuses on love, hope, responsibility, inner freedom, and the beauty to be found in both nature and art as means that help one endure and overcome harrowing experiences.
As noted above, Frankl had begun developing meaning therapy Logotherapy before he was arrested and imprisoned by the Nazis. This guide contains classroom discussion and writing prompts.
In addition, it contains references to images of Frankl at various stages in his life in order to deepen comprehension and provide context. The letter and speeches provide the reader with a view of Dr. The prompts are organized according to the standard they primarily support. In addition, at the end of some of the standards sections, a classroom activity is provided that can further enhance analysis of the text for a complete listing of the Standards, go to: The goal of this guide is to illuminate this responsibility for readers, by providing a means for thorough investigation and comprehension of MSFM , as well as accompanying self-investigation and introspection.
Support your response using examples from the book. Describe the command hierarchy of German concentration camps. Pay special attention to those prisoners who were selected to supervise camp activities. How does Frankl describe these selected individuals? Support your answer with evidence from the book. By what psychological methods did they survive—or not?
In what ways could a prisoner obtain sufficient sustenance? Why would politics and religion play a vital role in concentration camps p.
Support your answer using MSFM and other reputable sources. He then uses examples drawn from his own interior life that helped him cope with his own prisoner experience: Think carefully about those prisoners who clung to a desire to live p.
By what psychological methods did the survivors manage to survive? Do you agree? Why or why not? Frankl was an avid reader, and he had an intense appreciation for the fine arts. These qualities, at times, helped him transcend the atrocities of the concentration camps. Discuss as a class the role of education as a coping mechanism.
Choose your own favorite great work of art, music, or literature and write an essay that supports how it could help you endure a dire situation. Survival is a key theme in MSFM. Examine why Frankl states that the best did not physically survive the concentration camps. By what methods did those who lived manage to survive examples: Support your answer using examples from MSFM.
Psychohygiene is a central idea in MSFM. What does Frankl mean by that term? Describe examples in which Frankl helped his fellow prisoners via psychohygienic methods. Then describe examples in which others helped Frankl through similar methods. Why would people subjected to such inhuman conditions pause to consider the well-being of others in the same predicament?
Do you agree with Frankl that we retain the right to choose, even in the face of cruel detainment? Investigate the roles of optimism, humor, psychological detachment, solitude, and resolve in surviving the concentration camp experience, using examples from MSFM. For help with setting up this activity, visit www. Draw a picture of something or someone you love. Frame it in barbed wire. In the classroom, discuss how the barbed wire impacts your feelings about the loved thing or person you have drawn p.
Some say that survival is 80 percent mental maintaining a positive attitude , 10 percent skill knowledge , and 10 percent equipment specialized resources.
After losing his family and literally being stripped of everything except his glasses and his belt p. Conduct a problem-solving survival scenario using groups of four or five, using the Montclair State University Survival Lesson Plan www. In the preface to the edition, Frankl describes his thought processes during a series of events that led to his decision to remain in Austria. Do you agree with his decision?
Further, how did his decision support his theory about success and happiness? Frankl describes the sequence of events that led to the loss of the manuscript which he had sewn behind the lining of his coat.
After reading the prayer, he decides to live his thoughts, rather than merely put them on paper. As you read through MSFM , determine whether Frankl succeeds in living his thoughts which is the essence of Logotherapy. You can read the Shema Yisrael at www. Support or refute his stance using MSFM and other reputable sources.