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This Auschwitz Survivor Helped Me Find Meaning

This book has taught me incredible life lessons.

By Ionutz KazakuPublished 2 years ago 4 min read
Author's Image - Book Cover.

Are you grateful that you are alive?

I can’t deny, that some people are luckier than others when it comes to family, wealth, health, opportunities and so on.


We should all agree that our ancestors had it worse than us.

In this book, the author, Victor E. Frankl writes about some of the most horrible experiences in the concentration camps and how he survived. Viktor used psychotherapeutic methods in order to find meaning in the hell that he was living in.

It is a window into a world that we shall never come back to, but, should get a glimpse of.

Here are 5 incredible lessons that are stuck with me forever —

#1: Human Kindness Can Always Be Found

People assume that the guards were terrible people.

Don’t get me wrong, they were conscious of what they were doing. However, Frankl sometimes experienced good dids from the guards as well. In the book, he mentions how one time a guard risk his life in order to give him a piece of bread.

“It was far more than the small piece of bread which moved me to tears at the time. It was the human “something” that this man gave to me — the word and look which accompanied the gift.”

It wasn’t just a piece of bread, it was a form of purpose that he was gifted.

Human kindness can be found in the most surprising places. Don’t judge the person in front of you. You don’t know what he or she has been through. But you should keep one thing in mind:

Everyone has a positive side.

#2: You Can Endure Almost Anything

“What you have experienced, no power on earth can take that from you.”

We, humans, are tougher than we think.

In the camps Viktor has endured a lot, to say the least. In the camps, everyone was undressed to the skin and shaved everywhere. Every document they had together with their clothes was taken and thrown away and burned.

They no longer had an identity. They didn’t exist.

Viktor and his inmates worked a lot under extreme conditions. Everyone was starving, freezing and constantly working.

Viktor has taught me that anything is possible, we just have to try our best.

#3: The Power Of Purpose

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” — Nietzsche

Not everyone survived the concentration camps.

Viktor argues that most of the time the people were giving up their hope, their purpose. When one of the inmates decided to smoke a full cigarette, everyone knew that it was the last time they saw him.

Tomorrow he will walk towards the electric fence.

“In the final analysis it becomes clear that the sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision, and not the result of camp influences alone.”

Viktor was hopeful. He dreamed of creating a family after he escaped. Edit his manuscript and later on write a book.

Hope can survive anything.

#4: Your Attitude Is a Choice

You should become a stoic.

It is easy to control yourself and not give in easy situations. Try to control yourself when something terrible or extreme happens.

Shit happens.

Sometimes it happens because of us, unluck, the stars didn’t align or other bugs in this game of life. We are just mere humans, very far from Gods. We can’t control everything in life. That’s why we should just accept events that occur in our life.

In the camps, everyone knew how unlucky they got. They were constantly haunted by their regrets. This mindset didn’t help.

Be grateful and live with what you’ve got at the moment.

#5: There Is Nothing More Powerful Than Love

“The salvation of men is through love and in love.”

Love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire.

In the camps, that was the biggest reason why Viktor decided every day to live. He was dreaming every day about how he would meet his family. His wife, whom he loved so much, which was taken into a different concentration camp, was always present in his mind.

Love is a power that no one can take from you.

Love should make you the best version of yourself. It should motivate you, make you less selfish or judgmental, more positive, in a better mood, and the list can go on.

“If there is no love, there is nothing.”

Every generation must read this book. We should all be grateful for our lives because our ancestors had it worse.

Optimize your reading list with this.

Thanks for reading :)

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About the Creator

Ionutz Kazaku

Writing articles, reading books, listening to podcasts — constantly learning.

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