Litkicks Message Board Archive

I read it in college

Posted to Poetry and Politics

and it was an incredible story, from what I remember some 8 or 9 years ago of a man who survived in the Nazi concentration camps and saw all kinds of unspeakable horrors. He kept a list of the names of people killed in the camp, If I recall, because it was one of the ways that the soldiers dehumanized the Jews, if you take away their respectable identity, you take away their respect, and Frankl was determined to preserve their memory. But it didn't work with Frankl. It was his struggle with finding meaning in life when there appeared to be none, no existing hope left, that led him to capture the will to live where otherwise his misery and sorrow would have killed him. It is a graphic read, shocking. Though I've never seen Schindler's List, I can imagine it being as moving as that portrayal.

Here's some quotes from Frankl's book:

"Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible." -Man's Search for Meaning, p.172

(T)here is also purpose in that life which is almost barren of both creation and enjoyment and which admits of but one possibility of high moral behavior: namely, in man's attitude to his existence, and existence restricted by external forces.... Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete. - (p. 106)