Who is Frankl, you ask? Viktor E. Frankl survived Auschwitz and
three other Nazi concentration camps while losing his parents and other
family members. He later developed the "Third Vienna School" of
psychotherapy (after Freud and Adler) known as logotherapy, in which
man's primary motivational force is his search for meaning:
> "There is nothing in the world, I venture to say, that would so
> effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions, as the
> knowledge that there is a meaning in one's life. One can find meaning
> in life in three different ways: by creating a work or doing a deed; by
> experiencing something or encoutering someone; and by the attitude we
> take toward unavoidable suffering. We must never forget that we may
> also find meaning in life even when confronted with a hopeless
> situation. I bear witness to the unexpected extent to which man is
> capable of defying and braving even the worst conditions conceivable."
Let's go to CNN for the obit...
Viktor Frankl, renowned Austrian psychiatrist, dead at 92
3 September 1997, Web posted at: 23:37 CEST, Paris time (21:37 GMT)
VIENNA, Austria (AP) Viktor E. Frankl, author of the landmark "Man's
Search for Meaning" and one of the last great psychotherapists of this
century, has died of heart failure. He was 92.
Frankl died Tuesday and his funeral already has been held, the Austria
Press Agency reported today, citing the Vienna Viktor Frankl
Institute. It gave no further details.
"Vienna, and the world, lost in Victor Frankl not only one of the most
important scientists of this century but a monument to the spirit and
the heart," said Vienna Mayor Michael Haeupl.
Frankl survived the Holocaust, even though he was in four Nazi death
camps including Auschwitz from 1942-45, but his parents and other
members of his family died in the concentration camps.
During and partly because of his suffering in concentration camps,
Frankl developed a revolutionary approach to psychotherapy known as
At the core of his theory is the belief that humanity's primary
motivational force is the search for meaning, and the work of the
logotherapist centers on helping the patient find personal meaning in
life, however dismal the circumstances may be.
Frankl's teachings have been described as the Third Vienna School of
Psychotherapy, after that of Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler.
In "Man's Search for Meaning," which sold more than 2 million copies
worldwide, Frankl said: "There is nothing in the world, I venture to
say, that would so effectively help one to survive even the worst
conditions as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one's life."
According to logotherapy, meaning can be discovered by three ways: "(1)
by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing something or
encountering someone; and (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable
suffering," he wrote.
"We must never forget that we may also find meaning in life even when
confronted with a hopeless situation," he insisted, a theory he
gradually developed as a concentration camp survivor.
"As such, I also bear witness to the unexpected extent to which man is
capable of defying and braving even the worst conditions conceivable,"
Viktor Emil Frankl was born in Vienna on March 26, 1905. His father
worked his way up from a parliamentary stenographer to director at the
Social Affairs Ministry. As a high school student involved in Socialist
youth organizations, Frankl became interested in psychology.
In 1930, he earned a doctorate in medicine and then was in charge of a
ward for the treatment of female suicide candidates. When the Nazis took
power in 1938, Frankl was put in charge of the neurological department
of the Rothschild Hospital, the only Jewish hospital in the early Nazi
But in 1942, he and his parents were deported to the Theresienstadt
concentration camp near Prague.
Frankl returned to Vienna in 1945, where he became head physician of the
neurological department of the Vienna Polyclinic Hospital, a position he
held for 25 years. He was a professor of both neurology and psychiatry.
Frankl's 32 books on existential analysis and logotherapy have been
translated into 26 languages. He held 29 honorary doctorates from
universities around the globe.
Starting in 1961, Frankl held five professorships in the United States
at Harvard and Stanford Universities as well as at universities in
Dallas, Pittsburgh and San Diego.
He was awarded the Oskar Pfister prize of the American Society of
Psychiatry, as well as honors from several European countries.
Frankl taught regularly at Vienna University until he was 85 and was an
avid mountain climber. He also earned a pilot's license at 67.
He is survived by his wife, Eleonore, and a daughter, Dr. Gabriele
I get knocked down, but I get up again. You're never gonna keep me down.
-- "Tubthumping" by Chumbawumba (hey rumman, what's that british for?)