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Daily Briefing: VIKTOR E. FRANKL: THE FATHER OF LOGOTHERAPY (April 9, 2021)

“Logotherapy sees the human patient in all his humanness. I step up to the core of the patient’s being. And that is a being in search of meaning, a being that is transcending himself, a being capable of acting in love for others.” —  Viktor E. Frankl

 Victor FranklFrom Death-Camp to Existentialism (1946)

“This story is not about the suffering and death of great heroes and martyrs, nor is it about the prominent Kapos – prisoners who acted as trustees, having special privileges – or well-known prisoners. Thus it is not so much concerned with the sufferings of the mighty, but with the sacrifices, the crucifixion and the deaths of the great army of unknown and unrecorded victims. It was these common prisoners, who bore no distinguishing marks on their sleeves, whom the Kapos really despised. While these ordinary prisoners had little or nothing to eat, the Kapos were never hungry; in fact many of the Kapos fared better in the camp than they had in their entire lives. Often, they were harder on the prisoners than were the guards, and beat them more cruelly than the SS men did. These Kapos, of course, were chosen only from those prisoners whose characters promised to make them suitable for such procedures, and if they did not comply with what was expected of them, they were immediately demoted. They soon became much like the SS men and the camp wardens and may be judged on a similar psychological basis.” – Viktor E. Frankl

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Dr. Viktor E. Frankl of Vienna, Psychiatrist of the Search for Meaning, Dies at 92:  Holcomb B. Noble, NY Times, Sept. 4, 1997

“even at Auschwitz some prisoners were able to discover meaning in their lives … and that those discoveries were what gave them the will and strength to endure.”

Viktor E. Frankl, who used his experiences as a prisoner in German concentration camps in World War II to write ”Man’s Search for Meaning,” an enduring work of survival literature, and to open new avenues for modern psychotherapy, died on Tuesday in Vienna. He was 92 and was considered to be one of the last of the great Viennese psychiatrists.

He died of heart failure, the International Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy said yesterday.

Viktor Frankl’s mother, father, brother and pregnant wife were all killed in the camps. He lost everything, he said, that could be taken from a prisoner, except 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.”

Victor Frankl: John Simkin, Spartacus Educational, Sept. 1977, updated Jan. 2020

“Between 1928 and 1930, while still a medical student, he organized and offered a special program to counsel high school students free of charge. … It was reported that in 1931, not a single Viennese student committed suicide.”

Viktor Frankl was born in Vienna into a Jewish family on 26th March, 1905. His father held a government job administering children’s aid. His mother was described as a “kindhearted and deeply pious woman.” His father tended to be hot-tempered. “In a fit of anger he once broke an alpine walking stick as he hit me with it. Despite this, to me he was always the personification of justice. And he always provided us with a sense of security.” (1)

As a teenager he did brilliantly in his studies, which included a course in psychology that prompted him at the age of 16 to write to Sigmund Freud. A correspondence ensued, and in one letter he included a two-page paper he had written. Freud loved it, sent it promptly to the editor of his International Journal of Psychoanalysis and wrote the boy, ‘”I hope you don’t object.'” (2)

Victor Frankl became a socialist and joined the Social Democratic Party of Austria and in 1924 he became the president of its youth organization. Later that year he entered the University of Vienna to study medicine and over this period he specialized in neurology and psychiatry, concentrating on the topics of depression and suicide. His early development was influenced by the work of Alfred Adler. (3) However, later he began to feel that Adler erred in denying that people had the freedom of choice and willpower to overcome their problems. (3a)

The Life of Viktor Frankl: Anna Geifman and David Mikics, Tablet, Dec. 10, 2020

Beyond the effort to disrepute Frankl as a person, you seek to discredit his contribution of transmuting suffering into a life-affirming journey to discover personal meaning.”

Anna Geifman writes:

In September 2020 Tablet published your essay titled “The Lie of Viktor Frankl.” It has certainly made a stir in my intellectual circle. I am writing in the name of several friends and colleagues, with whom I have discussed your article at length; their ideas are reflected in my comments. (I am particularly grateful to professor Golda Akhiezer in Jerusalem and Uri Blank in Boston.) We think that your arguments and insinuations about Frankl are grossly flawed, if craftily presented. Beyond the effort to disrepute Frankl as a person, you seek to discredit his contribution of transmuting suffering into a life-affirming journey to discover personal meaning.

You strike hard by opening your essay with a story of Frankl’s 1941 “medical experiments” on his Jewish patients who committed suicide in the Nazi-ruled Vienna. The nature of Frankl’s brain treatments is a gray area—and you know better than to rely on a single source, Timothy Pyttel’s much-criticized (and much-revised) research. Still, you present Frankl’s desperate effort to bring to life the clinically dead patients as if he committed Nazi-like medical atrocities. Your cynicism is quite misplaced when you scoff at Frankl’s motives for seeking to prevent suicides—purportedly so that the Jews would have a chance to bear suffering with dignity. Frankl had yet to spend three years in the Nazi camps to develop his beliefs.

An Overview of Viktor Frankl’s Logotherapy:  Arlin Cuncic, Very Well Mind, Oct. 6, 2019

“his therapy, named “logotherapy,” was recognized as the third school of Viennese therapy after Freud’s psychoanalysis and Alfred Adler’s individual psychology.”

Viktor Frankl is the founder of logotherapy, a form of psychotherapy that he developed after surviving Nazi concentration camps in the 1940s. After his experience in the camps, he developed a theory that it is through a search for meaning and purpose in life that individuals can endure hardship and suffering.

A Brief History

Viktor Frankl was born March 26, 1905, and died September 2, 1997, in Vienna, Austria. He was influenced during his early life by Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler. Frankl earned a medical degree from the University of Vienna Medical School in 1930.

From 1940 to 1942, he was the director of the Neurological Department of the Rothschild Hospital, and from 1946 to 1970 was the director of the Vienna Polyclinic of Neurology. In 1942, Frankl was deported to a Nazi concentration camp along with his wife, parents, and other family members.

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‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor E Frankl pdf:  Free Download:  Books Free

Meaning of Life: Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning:  Teachphilosophy, YouTube, Jan 4, 2017

Man’s Search For Meaning: Powerful Interview with Viktor Frankl’s Grandson:  Books To Business Podcast, YouTube, May 16, 2020 –Alex Vesely is Viktor Frankl’s grandson. Viktor is the author of Man’s Search For Meaning and Alex produced a documentary that captures the impact Viktor had with everyone he came in contact with. As well as, his extensive research and practice of Logotheraphy

Viktor Frankl’s Forgiveness:  Uri Paz,  Mediate Canada, November 2006 — Austrian Jewish author and psychiatrist Professor Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) was a Holocaust survivor.

Existentialism: Crash Course Philosophy #16:  YouTube, June 6, 2016 — Now that we’ve left behind the philosophy of religion, it’s time to start exploring what other ways might exist to find meaning in the world.

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