Sunday, December 7, 2014

.. Man's Search For Meaning..

It is about Viktor Frankl's story of his struggle for survival in Auschwitz and a few other concentration camps.
This book has some 100 odd pages but every word is worth thousands of thoughts put together.
I have never read something so grim, sad and yet humorous. It makes you sit up and think. It touches the topics which I could never discuss openly during my time in Germany.

When I was in Germany I was very clear of not visiting any of the concentration camps. It just didn't suit my sensibilities. Visiting places where a section of human race was tortured, murdered and what not just didn't feel right. A friend visited me once and he was quite keen on going to Dachau. He had his own reasons. While growing up he was quite close to his neighbor, a holocaust survivor and he just wanted to relive those horror stories. He pushed me and after a few rounds of emotional blackmail I gave in. I will never forget the day I entered there. I had goosebumps. The moment I saw that iron gate and the words "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Sets You Free) I wanted to go back but my friend was persistent. I don't think I can ever forget that experience. My friend was narrating all the tales while I was just trying to imagine. It was quite a sobering experience. It was cold and dark inside. Being in there felt very heavy. It was as if there was something in the air inside and it felt crowded even with 10 odd people. The ones who were killed probably never left that place. It was like being with 10000's of other inmates in that moment. There was a prayer on my lips as I walked out. I thanked god for being the lucky one. 

Coming back to this book, every word is worth its weight in gold. His struggles, his choices. his thoughts everything feels sad. The magnitude of atrocities are just hard to imagine. Even with so much sadness there are sparks. There is humor. You see the irony of everything. The harrowing testimony feels incomprehensible. You feel at a loss of words after reading it. 

It talks about an important thing. No matter how the circumstances are you can always be free.
He asks - would you be able to hold your head up as you entered the gas chambers?

“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.”  -  Viktor E Frankl

It says that you can find meaning under any conditions.

It also made me realize just when you think you have hit rock bottom there are always people who have seen, experienced and lived through so much hell..

Feel happy to be alive. Make this life count.
I can only request you to read this book. Probably you will find your meaning too.


  1. Wow! You have expressed your emotions so well. I know another girl who had a very similar experience. Will try and get my hands on this book. Thanks for sharing.

  2. @Det-ReS: Thanks :) I wish I could write about my thoughts during my time there.. I think everyone should read this book.

  3. A lovely book, one that puts a lot of things in perspective. :)
    Frankl was also a psychiatrist, neurologist and founder of one of the school's of psychology - Logotherapy. We had this book as one of our course reading.