Viktor Frankl: Man’s Quest for Meaning

If ever you think your life is miserable and you start to get downhearted then I have a book I recommend you read “Man’s Quest for Meaning” by Victor Frankl. Frankl was born in Vienna in 1905 and even before the outbreak of World War 2 was an accomplished academic and psychotherapist.  He was also a Jew and, along with his entire family, was imprisoned in a concentration camp. Man’s Quest for Meaning documents his personal experiences of Auschwitz and other camps.  Only he and his sister survived everyone else who mattered to him: his wife, parents, siblings and friends were killed.  A good summary of his life and work is provided by Dr. C. George Boeree here. After the war, Frankl reestablished his career and produced this remarkable book which soon gained a substantial  readership and acclaim. I remember my reluctance to read the book – I was afraid I would find it depressing, after all, life in a concentration camp what could be uplifting about that?  The opposite was the case, I was genuinely uplifted and this  is is precisely the point that comes through in the text.  If, even in the most forlorn circumstances, in the depths Read More …

Dachau

This is Dachau – the first concentrati on campt built by the Nazis. Be careful not to become smug when you visit this place – we are all convinced that such a place could never exist again and that there is no way that ‘normal’ people would be convinced to co-operate if it was attempted. I spent some time in Munich when I was in my twenties (circa 1980) – I had a fantastic time and made many good friends. Although I knew about Dachau I never went to visit. My wife, Maire gave me a wonderful present of a trip back to Munich for the May weekend and this is how I came to take the picture of the square in Dachau KZ. Look closely and you will see that it is pelting rain. There was a great crack of thunder and lightening – it struck quite close and left a strong lingering smell of ozone – all of this served to magnify the sense of unease at visiting this place. Much has been said about these places – I feel that everyone should take time to reflect on how evil can come about and be sustained. Dachau is Read More …