Sunday, February 16, 2014

Man's Search for Meaning

On my recent trip to Texas, my nephew suggested I read Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning."

I knew this book was on my reading list from years gone by. I remember shelving it in our hospital library, but hearing my nephew suggest reading it, I could not wait to borrow Frankl's books from the library.

A quote by Nietzsche, cited in the book, is as follows:

             "He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how."

I have been thinking much about these words in relation to my father who lost his first wife and beautiful 9 year-old, blond-haired, blue-eyed daughter --- or more specifically, neither wife or child are documented on any reliable list after September 3, 1944, after arriving in concentration camp Stutthof  from Auschwitz.

My "lost" sister was a member of a group now called "The Last 500."

Frankl, a psychiatrist survivor of the Shoah (Holocaust), presents much information which sounds familiar, things my father told me or I somehow assimilated? Frankl understands survival, what survival involves, and has first-hand knowledge of being a slave laborer and concentration camp inmate.

My father told me he survived as wanted to tell the world what had happened, but after the war he felt that no one would believe what had happened, no one would believe our family's story, no one would believe the horrors of the Holocaust.

I am rereading Frankl's book which is reminding me of the many things buried deep in my own mind, things my father had told me which I did not document. Frankl verifies what I knew, but expresses it much better in words than I can. He gives me the gift of understanding what was needed to survive, in addition to physical strength and luck.

If you are interested in the mindset of survivors and those who did not, you might wish to read Frankl's

A big  Texas "Thank You," to our dear nephew, our niece made an incredible choice in choosing him as her soul mate!

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