Man’s search for meaning was published in 1946, a year after the Holocaust ended. The author of this book, Viktor Frankl, was a psychiatrist and a Holocaust survivor.
The book is divided into two parts. First one tells us about the disturbing practice of the concentration camp and the tortures of an inmate faced in the camp. He describes his experience and the struggle of not giving up and finding the meaning of his life. The second part describes the post-holocaust conditions where the inmates were free from the Nazis. The struggles faced by an inmate to accept the brand-new life of freedom. Observation of human behaviour in the concentration camp. This section is more about logotherapy. It also talks about the meaning of life, love, suffering and so on.
This book should be read by everyone. Particularly the ones who are searching for the meaning of their existence. I am in love with this book.
My favourite quotes:
“No man should judge unless he asks himself in absolute honesty whether in a similar situation he might not have done the same.”
“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.”
“In some ways, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment, it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.”
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”
“An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behaviour.”
“Our generation is realistic, for we have come to know the man as he really is. After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with
the Lord’s Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips.”