Beauty in Auschwitz

I'm working my way through Victor Frankl's A Man's Search For Meaning, a Holocaust memoir and psychology booked wrapped into one. After being liberated from the Dachau concentration camp, Frankl went on to develop Logotherapy, a form of psychology that helped people search for their most basic meaning in life. He was known to start many of his sessions with, "What is it that keeps you from committing suicide?" As there are already a vast amount of accounts of these earthly manifestations of hell, Frankl only offers as many stories as are necessary to explain what he went through psychologicaly: the shock, the apathy, the primal hunger, and the ability to experience beauty.

Prisoners_liberation_dachau

There was Art in the camps.

At Auschwitz, some organized plays, which were well attended by people who skipped the daily bread ration to do so.

During a lunch break, a man stood up and sang Cantatas to the mass of skin covered skeletons who were hunkered over their cup of broth.

And on the train that carried Frankl from Auschwitz to Dachau, the men fought for just a glimpse of sun shining on the snow capped Alps.

It is easy for us to forget, with such a wealth of music, paintings, books, blogs, movies and museums around us, that Art is not simply an icing we put on the cake of life, it is an expression of our most fundamental being.

Adam, upon seeing Eve for the first time, spoke poetry.

 

 

 

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