How to rise from a chasm? V. Frankl`s fight for the person in the person of
“Camp life gave the chance to glance in depths of human soul. And whether it is necessary to be surprised to the fact that in these depths everything was found that it is peculiar to the person. Human is an alloy of the good and evil. The boundary dividing the good and evil passes through all human and reaches depths of human soul. It is distinguishable even in a concentration camp chasm“.
the Author of these lines - the famous Austrian psychologist Victor Frankl, the former prisoner of concentration camps. This courageous person managed not only to stand and survive in inhuman conditions, but also to write the book about the endured experience of concentration camps. Personal experience of V. Frankl furnished the clue to understanding of how the person can rise from a chasm of the hardest circumstances and conditions adjoining on continuous threat of death, having kept in itself the person.
From own supervision of stay in a concentration camp Victor Frankl allocates three phases: arrivals in camp, stay in it and releases. It characterizes the first phase as “arrival shock“, the captured fear. The arrived prisoners among whom there was also V. Frankl should enter great horror, to get used to it. Hopelessness of a situation, continuous threat of death - all this led almost each of prisoners to thought of suicide. Frankl promised “not rush on a wire“ (a way of suicide - having touched a barbed wire, to receive a mortal blow of a high-tension current).
Frankl characterizes the further period of stay in a concentration camp as manifestation of the second phase: apathy, internal dullness, indifference did the prisoner less sensitive to a daily beating. Frankl notes that the corporal pain caused by a beating was for prisoners not the most important. Despite apathy, people were tormented by most of all mental anguish, indignation of injustice.
V. Frankl writes: “We reached a condition of herd of sheep who only and know that to avoid attack of dogs and when they for a minute are left alone, to eat a little. And like the sheep, at the sight of danger who are timidly bunching each of us sought not to remain with edge, to get to the middle of the row, to the middle of the column in which head and a tail there were escorts“. for hunger and exhaustion in camp Frankl narrates
About a picture of sufferings so: “Who did not starve itself, that will not be able to imagine what internal conflicts, what tension of will is tested by the person in this state. He will not understand, will not feel what it, standing in a ditch, to hollow a pick the tenacious earth, all the time listening whether the siren announcing a half of the tenth, and then ten will hoot; to wait for this half-hour lunch break; it is persistent to think whether will give bread; to ask endlessly the foreman if he not angry, and at passing by civil - what time is it now? And fingers, swelled, unbending from cold, continually to feel a bread piece in a pocket, to break off a crumb, to bring it to a mouth and to put convulsively back - in the morning I made to myself the oath promise to wait till a lunch!“
Contrary to these hardest conditions of cold and hunger, contrary to the despair and unbelief soaring in concentration camps, V. Franklu together with other psychiatrists is possible to give psychological assistance in the form of elimination of initial shock at the arrived prisoners, support at the initial stage of stay, prevention of suicides. The thought expressed to Nietzsche was the motto of these efforts, according to Frankl: “At whom is “Why“, that will sustain almost any “As“.
“It was necessary in that measure in what circumstances allowed, to help the prisoner to realize the “Why“, the vital purpose, and it would give it strength to transfer our dreadful “As“, all horrors of camp life, to become stronger internally, to resist to camp reality“. (V. Frankl)
Frankl comes to I understand the fact that in a concentration camp it is possible to take away everything from the person, except human freedom, freedom to treat circumstances or so, or otherwise. And, according to V. Frankl, the concentration camp gave one thousand opportunities to carry out this choice and even to fight for meaning of life. Frankl understood as sense not only “meaning of life“, but also sense of suffering and dying.
Depended on the person, he will make a choice towards vegetation, as at thousands, or a spirit victory - as at the few. “If I also needed some proofs that power of human spirit is reality, the concentration camp provided them to me wholly“ . (V. Frankl)
“Once, - Frankl writes, - for everyone released there comes day when he, looking back at everything endured, makes a discovery: he cannot understand how it had enough forces to stand, take out all what it faced. And if there was time when freedom seemed to it a fine dream, then there comes also time when endured in camp he remembers everything how a dreadful dream. And its main achievement is that incomparable feeling that now he can already not be afraid of no power on earth - except the God“.
is So finished by the narration about stay in concentration camps of people, determination and to carry out the choice in fight for meaning of life which managed to show. The person who managed to rise from a chasm and to lift others.