For those of you who actually read this blog it may surprise you that every once in a while I pick up a book. Yes I do enjoy a good read, that is when I can find one. Sometimes I even read the same book twice, but there are a few that I read again and again. Most literature that I revisit often is by Hunter S. Thompson and Steinbeck, but there's one small book that always captures my attention.
Back in high school a history teacher of mine, the ever vocal Mr Stamp, recommended I pick up a copy of 'Man's Search for Meaning'. I went to the library and checked out the book. The book is split into two parts, the first being the author's experience in Auschwitz and the second is an explanation of his logo therapy.
We've all read and seen movies about the Holocaust, but this was the first time I was introduced to an accounting of the average life of a prisoner without it being over dramatized. The author does introduce his psychiatric theory, logo therapy, which by today's standards seems simplistic, but it's almost quaint learning about psychotherapy still in it's infancy.
It's an honest depiction of camp life, such as how the Jewish Capos were sometimes even more brutal than the SS guards. The author pulled no punches in detailing how far people would go to survive even in the worst of conditions. Of course the book is mostly about how man justifies his existence and finds purpose no matter how grim his world may be.
I received the book as a Christmas present from Quoc and Sam, having lost my copy years ago. Funny how the book came from Sam as she was the one who took me to Dachau, the first of all the Nazi concentration camps. I remember being in the camp and standing in front of one of the most disturbing sculptures I'd ever laid eyes on (pictured above) and thinking about Victor Frankl, the book's author. I hopefully will never truly understand what it's like to live through such a horrific experience, but I do sometimes wonder if ever put in that situation would I be strong enough to actually believe that my life is worth something?
"He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how." - Nietzsche