"...Viktor Frankl was Jewish psychiatrist who in the build up to WWII was offered an opportunity to leave Austria to lecture in America. But the visa only allowed him to take his wife, leaving the rest of his family behind to face the Nazi’s alone. Torn as to what to do he went to the synagogue to pray. When he returned home lying practically on his doorstep was the bombed fragments from a local synagogue. Engraved on the stone was part of the Ten Commandments: 'honor thy father and mother'.
He chose to stay in Austria where he, along with all of his family, was imprisoned in the concentration camps. Suffered almost unbearable hardship it was here his views of man’s search for meaning were formed. In his own words:
‘We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through 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.
‘The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails, the way in which he takes up his cross, gives him ample opportunity – even under the most difficult circumstances – to add deeper meaning to his life.’
Frankl survived World War II and emerged from the concentration camp marred, broken but alive. But his wife, father, mother, brothers, everybody except his sister was dead. Afterwards he founded Logotherapy an existential movement focused on finding meaning and purpose in life. Even in the worst circumstances being able to ascribe meaning to events, whether it’s is faith in god, or humanity or our own better natures, allows us to transcend our circumstances...."
[click on the title for the full article]
Via Dimitris Tsantaris