Man's Search For Meaning

Man’s Search For Meaning

Man’s Search For Meaning is a searing account of the suffering that the author Viktore Frankl endured in the concentration camps during the Nazi regime. He was a doctor and despite getting a chance to move to America he choose to remain in Vienna to be with his aging parents. As it happened with Jews under the Nazi rule, he along with his family were sent to different concentration camps separated from each other. All his family members died in the camps due to the harsh and inhuman treatment they were subjected to. Viktore was released from the camp when Hitler lost the war to Allied forces.

There are many books written capturing the horrors of Nazi concentration camps which tells in detail about the methods that were devised by the SS troops (Schutzstaffel – A major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in Nazi Germany, and later throughout German-occupied Europe during World War II). You will feel nauseated by the sheer amount of brutality and torture the Jews and others in these concentration camps have gone through.

What makes this book unique and special is that though it captures the experiences of Viktore in concentration camps which are worse than worst of the nightmares, still it gives a positive message. It is a story of an indomitable human spirit which looks up to the future, which is hopeful despite all the sufferings one is going through. It is difficult to have a positive and hopeful approach when you don’t have enough to eat, sleep and wear, when you work the entire day non-stop, when getting a beating from the guards was a daily routine, when your fellow inmates are dying Infront of you because of hunger, illness or simple because they are too weak and lost the will to live. Under these conditions to keep a positive outlook does need a strong will power.

This book is divided into two parts, one covers his experiences in the concentration camps and the other part talks about Logotherapy a theory devised by the author. The basic premise of the theory is that those who can find a meaning to their suffering can cope with it in much better way. As the author says –

“There is only one thing I dread not to be worthy of my suffering “

There should be something to look forward to once your suffering is over and that give you the strength to endure the suffering and come out of it victorious.

A must read for everyone and I would suggest every book lover to read this book at least once. The most amazing thing about the book is that though it captures his own sufferings in the concentration camps, but it is written with complete dispassion with no hatred towards anyone.

About the Author

Viktor Frankl was born in 1905 and was a Viennese psychiatrist and neurologist who developed the theory of logotherapy. Logotherapy is a type of existential analysis. He was a student of the University of Vienna where he studied medicine, focusing on the subjects of suicide and depression. Although he was influenced by Alfred Adler and Sigmund Freud, his work in the field of psychiatry was very different from theirs. He has won many illustrious awards in his time. He passed away on September 2, 1997.

Our Verdict

Go for it!! This is one book everyone should read.

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