Man’s Search For Meaning is a book of survival written by Viktor Frankl. It explains the stages of mental reaction, or so to say, psychology of a prisoner in camp.
The book talks about – ” people living in situations where everything that was not connected with the immediate task of keeping oneself and one’s closest friends alive lost its value and everything was sacrificed to this end. ”
It states incidents from Auschwitz as well as other smaller camps.
It has been stated a few times how, ‘a helping of soup from the bottom’ brought joy to the prisoners because it meant that it had peas in it. The mental state of people going through such incomprehensible situations where they had to sustain through minimum ration and extreme workload in hard conditions with no sanitation and healthcare has been described and analysed in a concise manner throughout the book.
Nietzsche’s word stated in the book read – ” He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how. ” There are multiple instances where the author has described how the prisoner’s will to live affected their mental state and well being.
Man’s Search For Meaning can be received in multiple ways as we do not only listen to memories but also to what the author felt in those moments and how he and other prisoners dealt with the struggle to live another day, so that they could someday be free and meet their loved ones.
I would recommend Man’s Search For Meaning to readers who want to know the psychology of people who suffered and survived in the camps.