Their punishments were severe and unimaginable. They were whipped with hard whips and that contained pieces of lead at the end to inflict severe pain. These whips had the capacity to bruise one’s skin and prisoners were often hung by the hand for a set duration, or worse, shot in the head.
Their punishments were severe and unimaginable. They were whipped with hard whips and whips that contained pieces of lead at the end to inflict severe pain. These whips had the capacity to bruise one’s skin and prisoners were often hung by the hand for a set duration, or worse, shot in the head.
The prisoners were often left to starve and if they were given food, one loaf of bread would be given to twenty people with it came a bowl of broth. The magnitude of the atrocities the inmates faced usually differed from one concentration camp to another.
Unable to endure the agonizing torture, inmates were forced and began to commit suicide. Around this time, Viktor Frankl mourned the loss of his father who died of starvation in a concentration camp. And in 1944, Frankl’s mother who was in Auschwitz was being taken to the gas chambers to be silently murdered.
After the death of his mother Frankl lost yet another family member—Viktor Frankl’s brother died at Auschwitz while working in a mining operation the same year. This was not the end of Frankl’s bereavements. Viktor Frankl’s wife, Tilly was transferred from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
Highly feeble by this time, Tilly died in 1945. The demise of his loved ones was a huge setback in Frankl’s life. He had just lost everything – his wife and family and all his earthly possessions.
Frankl was able to enlighten the lives of others because he endured a lot of pain and suffering. Viktor Frankl – What is to give light must endure burning
Liberated in May 1945, Viktor Frankl, after his heartbreaking experience travelled back to Vienna. He then wrote his acclaimed book Man’s Search for Meaning.
In this book, Frankl chronicled his experiences in concentration camps from a psychiatrist’s point of view. Through his suffering and bereavements, Viktor Frankl studied a lot about life and its meaning. He said that even in the most bizarre, agonizing, and brutalized state, life had a prospective meaning and that hence, even suffering was meaningful.
Viktor Frankl further said that, those who identify their meaning of life and those who have something to be fulfilled in the future would withstand all suffering. He also said that those who survived in concentration camps or other war camps in various countries were those who had goals or those had something to be fulfilled.
So the mere thought of having goals to achieve kept them fighting harder thus, staying alive. Individuals who see the meaning behind their suffering can mould it into an achievement thus, turning their tragedies into triumphs.