quotes the words of Nietzsche: “He who has a Why to live for can bear almost any How.”(Foreword, ix) What he mentions in the book is no doubt important; but how he says, what he says is more important; about whom he says is still more important. He doesn’t tell the glorious stories of heroes and great men. He details the sufferings and mind-plays of the common folk, when imminent death challenged them; when they were face to face with the prospectus of death of the worst order. This book is considered as an important contribution to the psychiatric literature since Freud. Stories of other prisoners and prison staff are interwoven around the story of Frankl, about his imprisonment in Auschwitz and other concentration camps for a fairly long period of 5 years, and how he kept his inner spirit burning with the latent desire to live. In this aspect Frankl seems to surpass Freud, who propounds that sexual instincts and urges are the driving force in the life of a human being. Frankl thinks otherwise and argues about the nobler instincts that are more powerful. The core desire of a human being is to search for meaning and purpose of life. The worst was in store in the life of Frankl. Besides, Auschwitz, he had to go through the rigor of four different camps between 1942 and 1945. His parents, brother and pregnant wife perished. In a similar situation, an ordinary individual will develop suicidal tendencies, if not commit suicide. Frankl was a man of great grit and determination. Through his suffering he encourages others by arguing that one cannot avoid suffering when it has to come, when it falls in one’s lot, but it can be challenged, one can cope with it, find meaning and march forward in life with renewed determination. His theory is known as logotherapy. History produces stalwarts like Frankl whom it wants as the witness and to record its pages daubed in bloodshed and violence. To prove to humanity that brutal force will not produce anything durable! ...
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