In Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor E. Frankl tells the honest story of his own experiences as an inmate in a concentration camp during World War II. In his book, Frankl answers the question “How was everyday life in a concentration camp reflected in the mind of the average prisoner?” (Frankl, 2006, p. 3) He describes the physical, emotional, and psychological torment that he endured as well as the effect that the camp had on those around him. He breaks down the psychological experience as a prisoner into three stages: the initial shock upon admission into the camp, apathy, and the mental reactions of the prisoner after liberation. He highlights certain emotions experienced throughout the time in the camp such as delusions of reprieve, hope, curiosity, surprise, and even humor.
Psychologist Victor Frankl’s novel: Man's Search for Meaning delivers a powerful and humbling perspective on life that inspires introspection in the minds of all those that read it. The book achieves this by taking us on a journey with Frankl as he describes his personal experiences of the Holocaust. During his time spent in four different concentration camps Frankl gradually learns lessons in spiritual survival. Devoid of all pleasures and possessing nothing but his “naked existence” Frankl is forced to look inward and in the process discovers what he believes to be the primary motivating factor of all men (p. 15).
In Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning we are told a powerful story of a man’s survival through the Holocaust. Frankl struggles to not only keep his body alive, but his spirit as well. Frankl’s main goal is to not only come out alive from the Holocaust but to not let it change him and ultimately defeat or take over his life and change who he truly is. He knows the only way to stay alive is to find some sort of meaning in his life. As we watch him fight to survive during his stay in concentration camps we begin to realize that the only way he is surviving is because he hasn’t forgotten who he still is and the identity that the Nazi’s were trying to take from him. He keeps his personal identity, goals, and morals in mind while
Many books were published about Holocaust, but Frankl’s work is “One of the outstanding contribution to psychological thought . . .” (Carl Rogers. 1959). Frankl, a psychiatrist and neurologist, spent 3 years in Nazis concentration camps where he underwent
Shock, apathy, and disillusionment were three psychological stages that the prisoners of the Nazi concentration camps experienced. Ironically, it took an event of such tragedy and destruction to enable us to learn more about how the human mind responds to certain situations. Frankl’s methods for remaining positive can be used by every human being to give them a meaning in their lives regardless of what predicament or mental state they are in – it is in many ways like a phoenix risen from the
Everyone experiences emotional and physiological obstacles in their life. However, these obstacles are incomparable to the magnitude of the obstacles the prisoners of the Holocaust faced every day. In his memoir, Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, illustrates the horrors of the concentration camps and their mental tool. Over the course of Night, Wiesel demonstrates, that exposure to an uncaring, hostile world leads to destruction of faith and identity.
'He who has a why to live for can bear any how.' The words of Nietzsche begin to explain Frankl's tone throughout his book. Dr. Frankl uses his experiences in different Nazi concentration camps to explain his discovery of logotherapy. This discovery takes us back to World War II and the extreme suffering that took place in the Nazi concentration camps and outlines a detailed analysis of the prisoners psyche. An experience we gain from the first-hand memoirs of Dr. Frankl.
Man’s Search For Meaning details Viktor Frankl’s horrifying experiences in Nazi concentration camps during the holocaust, and during that time he found meaning in his life. And he describes three things that were the most important factors that contributed to his and some prisoners survival: love, work, and suffering. It was because of those three things that they were able to survive. Many found hope in the thought that a love one was waiting , others were so preoccupied with work they were un able to think, and most effective was
In September of 1942, Viktor Frankl was arrested in Vienna and taken to one of the many Nazi death camps. Frankl was working on a manuscript which was confiscated from him in a move to Auschwitz. In this manuscript entitled, The Doctor and the Soul, Frankl had began his work on a theory he would later call logotherapy. The term logotherapy is derived from the Greek word logos, which means meaning. According to logotherapy, the striving to find a meaning in one’s life is the primary motivational force in man (Frankl 121). Frankl’s theory and therapy generated and grew through his experiences in the concentration camps.
The concentration camps from World War II are part of a painful and tragic incident that we have learned about in school for many years. And while we are taught the facts, we may not fully understand the emotional impact it had upon the humans involved. Upon reading Night by Elie Wiesel, readers are given vivid descriptions of the gruesome and tragic behaviors that the Jews were forced to endure inside he treacherous concentration camps. Among all of the cruelties that the Jews were exposed to, a very significant form of the callous behaviors was the demoralization of the prisoners. Each inmate was given a tattoo of a number, and that tattoo became their new identity within the camp. Every prisoner was presented with tattered uniforms that became
In the novel Night, Elie Wiesel gives an account about his life in a concentration camp. His focus is of course on his obstacles and challenges while in the camp, but his behavior is an example of how human beings respond to life in a concentration camp. The mood, personality, behavior, and obviously physical changes that occur are well documented in this novel. He also shows, as time wears on, how these changes become more profound and all the more appalling. As the reader follows Elie Wiesel’s story, from his home in the ghetto, to his internment at Auschwitz-Birkenau, to his transfer and eventual release at Buchenwald, one can see the impact of these changes first hand.
The purpose of this summary outline is to introduce and discuss Existential Therapy and more specifically Victor Frankl’s life experiences in Nazi Concentration Camps Auschwitz and Dachau during WWII, and how that experience helped shape his therapeutic philosophical model in Existential Therapy through what Frankl termed Logotherapy, or “therapy through meaning”.
Through showing the dark and devastating experiences of the Jews during the holocaust, the emotional appeal the reader experiences is increased. As Anthony Acevedo describes, “... his fellow soldiers beaten, starved, and in some cases executed for trying to escape. Forced to dig tunnels for 12 hours a day in the final weeks of the war, the prisoners were given 100 grams of bread per week and soup made from rats.” (1). While Wiesel in a speech said, “When adults wage war, children perish. We see their faces, their eyes. Do we hear their pleas? Do we feel their pain, their agony? Every minute one of them dies…” (217). Through implementing the theme of inhumanity into an emotional appeal, Elie Wiesel allows the reader to feel as though they were in that situation in a diminished manner. The following quotes, exhibits the theme of inhumanity through the use of different punishment methods against prisoners and the effects.
Prior to World War II, Viktor Frankl was a somewhat successful therapist. However, once the war began, he was sent off to an Auschwitz concentration camp.. Everyone in concentration camps had one wish, to stay alive (Frankl 15). Whether they tried to get on the good side of the warden, or attempt an escape, everyone had a different way to survive. Many prisoners died while in camps, but some of them who were hopeful and courageous made it out. Inspired by these prisoners, Frankl created logotherapy to help others find meaning in their own lives.
Frankl believes several things, and he shares these theories with his readers. First of all; the basic concept of Logotherapy is that if one finds a purpose or a meaning in their life they can endure anything. He supports this many times over with specific examples. He was forced to dig trenches in freezing cold weather without adequate clothing and shoes. The shoes might be too tight causing pain and blisters, he may have no socks, or the shoes might have holes in them, allowing the ice and snow to get against his skin. He states that he got through these long, painful days by thinking about the beauty of nature or thoughts of his wife. He focused on the unlikely fact that his wife might be alive, giving him the will to live. Other times, while at another camp where he worked as the only doctor caring for 52 sick and dying patients, he himself was on the brink of starvation and typhus and he did not give up. He felt that it was his duty to care for these people, keep them comfortable and give them the best that he could at the time with minimal resources. There might have