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Man's Search for Meaning

            Man's Search for Meaning, written by Dr. Frankl focuses on the experiences of the holocaust in his eyes as a prisoner in a concentration camp. During a three-year period, Dr. Frankl was imprisoned at many concentration camps including Auschwitz. In the concentration camps, people endured much pain and hunger and were forced to complete rigorous labor to the point of death. Although many could not bear the suffering and loss under unfortunate circumstances, others were able to not only survive but also grow. As a psychiatrist, Dr. Frankl was captivated by this and wanted to search for the reason as to why people survive under such conditions. To find the resolution to his captivation, Dr. Frankl observed the three stages of the prisoners "mental reactions- to camp life: the period following his admission; the period when he is well entrenched in camp routine; and the period following his release or liberation. .
             During the first phase, the period following the admissions, the primary symptom is shock. At this time, Frankl was introduced to the concentration camp life. In addition to being introduced to camp life, the prisoners were presented with labor and new experiences that often left them confused or in the state of shock. When the prisoners, including Dr, Frankl, arrived in Auschwitz, they were asked to strip and keep their shoes and belt. Their valued possessions were kept by the Capos (German criminals who were also camp inmates but were privileged), only if it had money value. "While we were waiting for the shower, our nakedness was brought home to us: we really had nothing now except out bare bodies-even minus hair; all we possessed, literally, was our naked existence."" (Pg. 33-34) Including materialistic possessions, their identities were also stripped from the prisoners. These prisoners lost everything even their abilities to predict the future. They knew that they would either be killed or sent to work extensively.

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