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Viktor Frankl and Man's Search for Meaning

When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves. -Viktor E. Frankl

Viktor Frankl was an Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor, best known for his existentialist work and his book "Man's Search for Meaning." Born on March 26, 1905, in Vienna, Austria, Frankl developed an interest in psychology and philosophy from a young age.

During World War II, Frankl, along with his family, was deported to Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz and Dachau. Tragically, most of his family members, including his parents, did not survive the Holocaust.

While in the concentration camps, Frankl observed the extreme conditions and the brutal treatment of prisoners. Despite facing unimaginable suffering, he began to develop his ideas about the importance of finding meaning in life, even in the most challenging circumstances.

After the war, Frankl wrote about his experiences and the insights he gained in "Man's Search for Meaning," which was first published in 1946. The book is divided into two parts. The first part describes his experiences in the concentration camps, and the second part outlines his psychotherapeutic approach, known as logotherapy.

Logotherapy, derived from the Greek word "logos" (meaning), emphasizes the human need for purpose and meaning in life. Frankl argues that even in the face of extreme suffering, individuals can find meaning by identifying a purpose or goal and pursuing it.

"Man's Search for Meaning" has become a widely influential work in psychology and philosophy. It offers profound reflections on human resilience, the importance of finding purpose, and the ability to endure even the most challenging circumstances.

Viktor Frankl continued his career as a psychiatrist and neurologist after the war, teaching and lecturing around the world. He passed away on September 2, 1997, leaving behind a legacy that extends beyond his contributions to psychology and into the realms of philosophy and existential thought.

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