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THIS BOOK REVIEW IS ONLY BASED ON MY FEELINGS DURING READING THE BOOK. IT DOES NOT INTENT TO HURT ANYONE’S FEELINGS, AND DOES NOT MEANT TO COMPARE WITH ANY OTHER REVIEWER’S FEELINGS. Well writing a review for this kind of extraordinary book is a big audacity for me. however here I’m, trying to give some brief review of the book.
The book is basically divided into three parts, the first one describes the way the Jews prisoners were treated in the Nazi Concentration Camps and how their lifestyle was. In the second part, the author described the basics of Logotherapy, a way of treatment of the Psychotherapeutic Patients. And finally, in the third part, he described what he actually meant by Man’s Search for meaning.
Being a Jew, the author was transferred to the Auschwitz, Dachau and other concentration camps during the Nazi occupation in Austria. Here, in the first part of the book, the author described his days in those concentration camps, where is were no chance of seeing the morning sun in the next day. And this happened every day. He described the way the SS guards used to treat the prisoners, the corruption prevailed in the camps, the malnutrition, the lifestyle of the camp Jews etc. The way he described the tortures the prisoners suffered, would surely bring tears to your eyes. During his description, he also pointed out the psychological condition of the other comrades in those camps. When most of the prisoners lost all hope of his life, some of them still kept the faith, that good days were coming.
In the second part, the author basically described the Logotherapy Techniques. And the most interesting part of the book is the third part. Here the author describes “Man’s search for meaning”. We, the human beings on this planet are living for a purpose. Until & unless we can’t find the purpose of our life, there is no reason for us to be here alive. Most of the prisoners in the camps lost all of their hopes and then died because they lost their purpose, as per the author. It is a must-read book for all I think.
The book also consists of few life-changing quotes which I liked in the book and would like to share:
1. For success, like happiness, can’t be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.
2. There are things which must cause you to lose your reason or you have none to lose.
3. Suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great of little. Therefore the ‘size’ of human suffering is absolutely relative.
4. No man should judge unless he asks himself in absolute honesty whether in a similar situation he might not have done the same.
5. The human being is completely and unavoidably influenced by his surroundings.
6. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death, human life can’t be completed
7. Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.
8. There is no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.
9. A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the “why” for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any ” how”.
10. The body has fewer inhibitions than the mind.
11. No one has the right to do wrong, not even if wrong has been done to them.
The book says, ‘The Classic tribute to hope from Holocaust’. And Sir Frankl was a “Holocaust survivor".
This book has two parts: 1.Experiences in a Concentration Camp. 2.Logotherapy in a Nutshell
The second part is so impactful and unique that you will re-read this book. The first part mainly is the autobiographical account of Sir, Frankl and the best part is both parts mutually support their credibility. The way he has poured all the pain in this book is not so easy and that too after experiencing it, I was literally shocked because firstly, I was unaware of the term “Holocaust”, maybe I have read before somewhere in History but I was unaware while reading and Secondly, I had never come across something like this.
He has talked about everything related to life in this book and you know what the best part is even after so much pain, I felt sad but I wasn’t demotivated, I could relate it and with each page-turning, what I found was ‘I am into the book’, suffering all this but I wasn’t tackling all the worst situation in my life as he did. Suddenly I started understanding that what life is? what suffering is? and what surviving is? and where am I lacking?
So, in another way, I discovered the answer to three most important questions which I wanted to be answered since maturity.
I came across a new word “Logotherapy” and I loved that section so much that I will re-read this book. In one line, I learned a lot from this book, which I can further practice to live a peaceful and beautiful life ahead. And this what makes this book worth reading.
Very moving book, in a kind of Dith Pran way... he is clearly mentally resilient and robust to find a way of dealing with the harsh conditions of a slaughter camp called Auschwitz, without being dehumanised. Two quotes really moved me " if you can understand the why in your suffering, you can find the how in your suffering". And after being released in 1945, although depersonalised by the awful conditions there, 3 weeks later he was able to say" I give thanks to God who has led me to a spacious place".. He reluctantly agreed to write a script which as we know became this book. Anyone who feels their life has no meaning or purpose, as our society has become increasingly Dickensian in the last 10 years, will find hope, as I did, to motivate myself to lead a fuller life, in spite of some of life's setbacks. I feel a winner, now, and am grateful for a special mentor who gave me her copy to learn wisdom.... I bought my own copy, as above to refer to it in times of stress. Other than that, it is a great read, which casts an objective eye on a period of history, some would rather forget.
This is wonderful book, inspiring and wise. My uncle was taken by the Nazis and was almost dead due to typhus when the camp at Dachau was liberated. He was discovered in a heap of bodies by a doctor who noticed a flicker of his eyelids. He was taken to hospital in Budapest and survived until 1967. This book gave me an insight into what he must have suffered. He never complained was always cheerful and full of mischief. The second half of the book about logotherapy is also very interesting and worth reading.
This was a surprisingly readable book on the holocaust by an inmate of several of the camps. It describes the psychology of survival in the camps. Viktor Frankl became an important psychotherapist in which he implements ideas he developed while in the concentration camp. The book is divided into two parts: part 1 describing what happened to him from 1st impressions until release; the 2nd part describes his implementation of his psychotherapy with different individuals. The book is moving example of what existentialist thought can actually be for in real life, what good it can do, how it can help people. He tells the story of his experience and how you can maintain your inner freedom and your human identity in the face of a situation that is designed to completely destroy and demolish all human dignity. It’s almost impossible to do, and he doesn’t say “This is the recipe for how I did it” — he just explores the ways in which fragments of purpose and of meaning in human life kept him going. He also writes about his experience after the end of the war, when he started to write about psychology and existentialist psychology, which he was one of the founders of. That was equally difficult, finding meaning in a world after all meaning has been destroyed, and all human dignity has been dismantled. In dealing with patients who present with various kinds of depression or a sense of meaninglessness, Frankl concludes that it’s all about looking at the ways in which people construct meaning and purpose in their lives. Again, this reverses the usual way of understanding human existence. We are not just sets of symptoms and conditions. We are thrown into a situation — which might be an absolutely unendurable, impossible situation — but we always have the freedom to make of it what we will, according to our own choices, to impose our own meaning on it.
It’s not just a matter of enduring or retreating into an inner realm in which you’re free. In fact, it’s not really about the inner realm at all, because the way you find meaning is not within, but through a purpose in the world, something that’s outside you, something that is greater than you. It could be by creating something, and it could be — and very often is — connections to other human beings, whether it’s comrades, friends, family or the people you come up against in life. And if all else fails — as it tended to in the concentration camps — and all the usual sources of meaning fall apart, there is always the chance of finding a meaning in the suffering itself. This is something that’s very hard to talk about in the abstract, but that was the conclusion that he came to.
It’s interesting how optimistic Viktor Frankl’s philosophy is. Existentialism is often characterised as a rather morbid philosophy, dwelling on. That view of existentialism as “Life is terrible and we just have to resign ourselves to it” is a real misrepresentation. Sartre would have said, “No, we can change the circumstances of our lives.” He believed we could do it through revolution, through Marxism, through politics — and potentially through ethics as well, though that is something he never finished working out completely. With Viktor Frankl there’s a sense that we need this philosophy to help us to live. Existentialist philosophy doesn’t bring despair and angst into our lives, it gives us a way of making sense, it’s a way of discovering our own inner freedom. There’s a lot more that’s positive in existentialism than it’s ever given credit for, because it really is about how you live your life, and how you exist, given what you’re presented with. angst and anguish and the difficulty of making choices. It’s a nice foil to that caricature of existentialism. It avoids the pitfalls of Colin Wilson's evangelical approach.
Outstanding Book! Everyone should read. This book gives many insight full thoughts that generally we forget in our daily lives. This book has great massage for life for those people who are in dispare Or prone to dispare.
One of the great lines I loved is ' you cannot control what's happens with you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about it. '
It will change the way you look at life. This is not about what happed in concentration camp per day it's more about the lessons that need to be drawn from it!
All people of all age group must read it. I recommend this book to all of the people who are in search for motto in life.... Best wishes..
Victor Frankl tells us about his story. A story full of suffering and an enormous amount of deepness. He gives so much reason to ponder about one's own life with this reading, It really forced me to rethink my life.
I mean he's gone through hell and we are complaining about so many things in life that are ridiculous. We are so focused on our own ego and always wondering why the f*** nothing happens that makes us happy.
Always running after the next big thing, or the next opportunity instead of just realizing how awesome everything is. We aren't in danger we don't have to fear the freaking gas chambers or any of that.
We just have to remember that the true happiness comes from nobody else but us. It's not even deep inside, we just burried it with our so called problems and our misleading expectations.
Life is not a good nor a bad thing, I think it's a challenge, WE MAKE IT GOOD or we stay in our comfort zone and hope for the best.
Well it's hard but you either go out and do something about it or you don't but then you shouldn't complain. Most of us will sadly never realize that.
Thank you for reading this, you're a champion and don't you ever forget that!
Really - every one should read this book. Frankl avoids moralising and never tries to garner sympathy for himself or for Jews. Instead he just lays out the lived reality of the tragedy and what how it led him to a new approach to psychotherapy that - rather uniquely - does not require figuring out the original cause of a person's upset.
It won't take you long to read - it's quite thin. Just go do it.
If you're in pain, read this book. If you're scared, read this book. If you are lost, read this book. If you are happy, read this book. If you have time, read this book. If you don't have time, read this book. Read this book, read this book.
"We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."
Man's search for meaning can help anyone who suffers from depression, which Frankl urges stems from a lack of meaning if it is not the clinical type (chemical imbalances in the brain). Meaning is made by man himself, and each man's purpose is unique to him. There are three ways in which man can find meaning: through the things he creates, through the things he experiences (such as love), or through suffering itself. Man, with meaning, can endure almost any situation put before him, and Frankl shows this through his holocaust experience. Meaning can change throughout one's life, creating almost a symphony of purposes that one can look back on in their old age, and these multiple purposes answer the overall question of why one exists. Although this is the case, Frankl argues that we can't always see this grand meaning to one's existence because we as humans just aren't smart enough. A great book overall and one that I recommend to anyone.