It was my turn. In the next few days our curiosity evolved into surprise; surprise that we did not catch cold. What else remained for us as a material link with our former lives? While my cold hands clasped a bowl of hot soup from which I sipped greedily, I happened to look out the window. Once I was standing on a railway track in a snowstorm. Like nearly all the camp inmates I was suffering from edema. My legs were so swollen and the skin on them so tightly stretched that I could scarcely bend my knees. Beatings occurred on the slightest provocation, sometimes for no reason at all. One five-ounce piece of bread was our only food in four days. If men were required for an unpleasant and disliked job, the senior Capo appeared and usually collected the men he needed from the back rows. And then he pointed to me and said, "I hope you don't mind my telling you frankly." When the showers started to run, we all tried very hard to make fun, both about ourselves and about each other. If you are happy, read this book. I was very happy to be the personally appointed physician to His Honor the Capo, and to march in the first row at an even pace. Please try again. But apart from the selection of Capos which was undertaken by the SS, there was a sort of self-selecting process going on the whole time among all of the prisoners. He was feverish but had reported to sick-bay at an improper time. This building, as I was told by someone who worked there, had the word "bath" written over its doors in several European languages. On the average, only those prisoners could keep alive who, after years of trekking from camp to camp, had lost all scruples in their fight for existence; they were prepared to use every means, honest and otherwise, even brutal force, theft, and betrayal of their friends, in order to save themselves. Those without any purpose seemed to perish. Those that had developed purpose and meaning to the harsh conditions got out of bed every morning to face another unbearable day. And for those who have never been inside, it may help them to comprehend, and above all to understand, the experiences of that only too small percentage of prisoners who survived and who now find life very difficult. He was being punished for this irregular attempt to be relieved of his duties. It dissolved into a sinister cloud of smoke. At times it will be necessary to have the courage to tell of very intimate experiences. By then I had grown rather weak physically. I spent some time in a hut for typhus patients who ran very high temperatures and were often delirious, many of them moribund. His right hand was lifted, and with the forefinger of that hand he pointed very leisurely to the right or to the left. After a time we again heard the lashings of the strap, and the screams of tortured men. The SS men seemed to have waited for just that. I was horrified, but this was just as well, because step by step we had to become accustomed to a terrible and immense horror. Frankl's theory of logotherapy "focuses on the meaning of human existence as well as man's search for such a meaning…. Otherwise one's head had to rest on the crook of an almost dislocated arm. Somewhere it is said that man cannot exist without sleep for more than a stated number of hours. As a psychologist, he was interested in how people responded to the situation more than the situation itself, and his writing reflects that viewpoint. Frankl is forthright about the camps, describing the ever-present threat of death, terrible living conditions, starvation, thoughts of suicide, and so on, but he does not dwell on the horrifying details. Man's Search for Meaning epub ebook : new releases and popular books, download ebook format epub, mobi, azw3, pdf Thus it is not so much concerned with the sufferings of the mighty, but with the sacrifices, the crucifixion and the deaths of the great army of unknown and unrecorded victims. That didn't help matters, but he nevertheless managed to save my life (one of the many times it was to be saved). Slowly, almost hesitatingly, the train moved on as if it wanted to spare its passengers the dreadful realization as long as possible: Auschwitz! Man’s Search for Meaning is a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl chronicling his experiences as an Auschwitz concentration camp inmate during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positively about, and then immersively imagining that outcome. None of us had the slightest idea of the sinister meaning behind that little movement of a man's finger, pointing now to the right and now to the left, but far more frequently to the left. My place was on the opposite side of the hut, next to the small, sole window, which was built near the floor. Another example: he found himself waiting at sickbay, hoping to be granted two days of light work inside the camp because of injuries or perhaps edema or fever. Even we psychiatrists expect the reactions of a man to an abnormal situation, such as being committed to an asylum, to be abnormal in proportion to the degree of his normality. This was an unrelenting struggle for daily bread and for life itself, for one's own sake or for that of a good friend. Two blankets were shared by each nine men. Man's Search for Meaning - Kindle Edition. However, as long as my Capo felt the need of pouring out his heart, this could not happen to me. This Capo, a former army officer, even had the courage to whisper to the foreman, whom I had quarreled with, that he knew me to be an unusually good worker. Then the train shunted, obviously nearing a main station. "As it happens, I did most of my work for no money at all, in clinics for the poor." Those who were sent to the left were marched from the station straight to the crematorium. The man with the corpse approached the steps. In psychiatry there is a certain condition known as "delusion of reprieve." From personal convictions which will be mentioned later, I made myself a firm promise, on my first evening in camp, that I would not "run into the wire." There's a problem loading this menu right now. In two days I'll finish you off! The privilege of actually smoking cigarettes was reserved for the Capo, who had his assured quota of weekly coupons; or possibly for a prisoner who worked as a foreman in a warehouse or workshop and received a few cigarettes in exchange for doing dangerous jobs. While my cold hands clasped a bowl of hot soup from which I sipped greedily, I happened to look out the window. Unfortunately the guard turned around just then and thought I was loafing. In these two minutes you will get fully undressed and drop everything on the floor where you are standing. The second half of the book about logotherapy is also very interesting and worth reading. If you're in pain, read this book. Top subscription boxes – right to your door, includes free international wireless delivery via, © 1996-2020,, Inc. or its affiliates. But our psychological investigations have not taken us that far yet; neither had we prisoners reached that point.