The Inspirational Life of Dr. Viktor Frankl

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

In order to begin to understand the extent to which his life and work stand today as symbols of strength and unwavering determination in the face of unimaginable suffering, one might first try, as much as it is possible, to imagine what life must have been like for Viktor Frankl living in Vienna in the months and weeks leading up to his internment in a Nazi concentration camp.

In 1942, at the age of thirty-seven, less than one year after being married, Frankl was granted a visa from the United States Consulate in Vienna. Emigration to the United States would allow the gifted doctor to escape the pervasive Anti-Semitism by which he was surrounded in his daily life as well as imminent imprisonment by the Gestapo. The visa, for which Frankl had waited years, also meant that he would be able to continue his very important psychiatric work in a relatively free and unabated intellectual environment.