New courage to face life after traumatic experiences
In March 1946, eleven months after being released from a concentration camp, Viktor E. Frankl held a series of lectures at the adult education centre in the Vienna workers' district Ottakring. The psychologist, who went on to become world famous, explained his central thoughts on the meaning of life and resilience. Based on his own maxim, ‘Live as if you were living for the second time’, Frankl revealed his basic conviction that being human means ‘being able to be different’ in any situation.
Strong evidence for this is provided by his own painful experiences of loss, hunger and fear of death, which nevertheless allowed hope, friendship and a sense of purpose to exist in the concentration camp. This theme of Frankl's life continues to be relevant: every crisis also contains an opportunity - namely to put one's own humanity to the test.
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• Gripping contemporary document