Man's Search for Meaning is a short novel that describes concentration camps through the eyes of psychiatrist and author Victor Frankl. Frankl explains the struggles of Jewish individuals in the concentration camp setting. Everyday was a struggle to survive and to make it through the horrible event that they were forced to endure. Seeing many people whose lives were taken or not having the correct nutrition to be able to live and see another day of this horrible event inevitably took its toll on the mentality of the prisoners of the camps, but one thing that sustained these victims was their ability to have something to believe in and something to grasp onto when it seemed like all of their hope should be gone.
In his novel, Frankl describes many horrible situations in which the Jews were degraded as the lowest of all human beings. He also says that many would give up the ...view middle of the document...
It would be hard to have to go through those struggles and still be able to have the positive mentality that Frankl had. In many situations that the Jews encountered, it showed their mental and emotional strengths.
During an interview with my brother's grandfather, Eric Rose, who was a Holocaust survivor himself, he mentioned that everyday was a struggle. Some of the atrocities that he faced were not getting food at times, having to be separated from his family, and going through the torture of having his freedom taken. Perhaps the hardest thing for him to see was the amount of death that occurred in the camp. He had to watch as people died from hunger and malnutrition, were beaten, and were put in the gas chamber to die. Their bodies would be piled onto a wheelbarrow and then dumped into a mass grave. Many of the prisoners would die in their sleep and be put in that same mass grave. They were all bar coded to identify them. He described how everyone in the camp was counting the days and hoping that it would all be over and that they would regain their freedom. One thing that he continued to have, throughout his entire stay in the concentration camp, was hope. He said that having the faith that one day it would all be over was one of the most difficult things that he struggled with. He also said how the Nazis felt as if they were better than the Jews in every aspect, and a thought that continued to run through his mind was, "what did we, as Jewish people, do to deserve this?"
So, from the perspective of my brother's grandfather, Eric Rose, it was the hope of life that enabled him to keep a positive mentality, which coincides with Frankl's theory that one has to have hope and the will to survive in order to actually survive. Just like Frankl, Rose valued his life. He wanted the chance to live to tell his story and influence others to value their lives as well. Overall, it would be safe to conclude that Frankl's theory holds true for not only himself, but other Holocaust victims as well, including my brother's grandfather, Eric Rose.