Between 1942 and 1945, Viktor Frankl spent time in four different Nazi concentration camps. The experience was every bit as miserable as you’d imagine and then some. His family died, he suffered horribly, and he spent years watching everyone around him suffering and dying. Out of this came Man’s Search for Meaning.
In the first half of the book, Frankl talks about life in the concentration camp. He reveals a lot of details about the daily trials, humiliations, and misery that you may not have heard before. The second half of the book features Frankl talking about his philosophy/theory of psychology.
It’s an extraordinarily powerful and insightful book. I’d recommend it to anybody and after you read these quotes, you’ll begin to see why.
A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth — that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still knows bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved. — P.37