Viktor Frankl: A Life Worth Living

Anna Redsand, Author . Clarion $19 (150p) ISBN 978-0-618-72343-0

In Redsand's biography, her first book, she addresses the life and work of Austrian psychoanalyst Viktor Frankl (1905–1997) who was responsible for developing logotherapy. The basic principle of logotherapy, a psychological treatment for suicidal patients, is that "finding meaning in life can enable a person to survive even the worst conditions," a test Frankl himself had to endure in the Nazi camps. A contemporary of Freud and Adler, Frankl opened a private practice in neurology and psychiatry in 1937; however, Nazi troops invaded Austria the following year. The author movingly describes a pivotal moment in 1941, when Frankl had to choose between going to America on a visa to further his work and remaining with his parents and risk being sent to a concentration camp; he decided to stay with his parents. In 1942, Viktor and his family were rounded up in Vienna with 1300 other Jews and wound up at Auschwitz. Redsand gives specific examples of how, as a prisoner, Frankl used his treatment of logotherapy to keep himself and others going. At the end of the war, discovering his family and wife had all perished, a depressed Frankl wrote Man's Search for Meaning , which became one of the most important books on the Holocaust. The author successfully illuminates how the Holocaust deeply affected Frankl's life and career, as he continued to find meaning through his writing, lecturing and his practice. Ages 10-14. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 11/06/2006
Release date: 11/01/2006
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