Viktor E. Frankl’s Logotherapy, Essay

1789 words - 7 pages

Viktor E. Frankl's Logotherapy, As It Relates To Concentration Camps During the same period that psychiatrist Viktor E. Frankl was devising his psychological theory know as logotherapy, he also happened to have been forced into a Nazi concentration camp. Viktor E. Frankl applied logotherapy as a means of surviving the mental horrors of concentration camps.Frankl's journey from his home to the concentration camp was a long tedious process, which put many of the prisoners into a state of shock. The prisoners were herded onto a train, in which the cars had barely enough room to fit them all, the prisoners had to lie on their luggage for several days and nights. Frankl was not sure of what was coming exactly, for he thought that he was being shipped to some munitions factory to work as forced labor. Upon arriving at the camp, Frankl along with the other prisoners were forced to strip, had all body hair removed, and put into a shower. After all personal items were taken from the prisoners; they were redressed and directed toward their bunks. The bunks were wooden planks stacked together, however there were not enough bunks for each prisoner. Frankl, along with the other prisoners were forced to sleep nine men to a bed. At this point, Frankl was happy to have a chance to lie down. The following day, the prisoners were assigned to work detail.The SS men, or soldiers who worked in the camps were severely brutal. "Beatings occurred on the slightest provocation, sometimes for no reason at all. For example, bread was rationed out at our work site and we had to line up for it. Once, the man behind me stood off a little to one side and that lack of symmetry displeased the SS guard." After a couple days of exposure to the new lifestyle, Frankl grew emotionless; no longer did seeing other prisoners being beaten affect him, but Frankl also became accustomed to being beaten and no longer felt the blows he was dealt.ii The only saving grace from being beaten daily was that of illness.Falling sick could either be a blessing, or it was an end for the prisoners. If a prisoner could easily be treated with a few days of work in the camp rather than a worksite, it was a blessing. However, if a prisoner became ill and it was serious, it was a ticket to the gas chamber. In some camps, simple illnesses such as a high fever, if it persisted for more than a few days, was an illness worthy of death. Frankl was lucky enough to have a Capo, or senior prisoner take a liking to him. Frankl had listened to the Capo's inner torments and the Capo felt obligated to him. The Capo did his best to have Frankl under his command, which normally involved easier labor and fewer beatings. Later in Frankl's stay, he was put in the infirmary to help the doctor take care of typhus patients and other sick prisoners. Typhus patients were kept alive as long as they could still do forced labor. Upon working with these patients, however, Frankl too caught typhus. The doctor, who is referred to only...

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