147 Top Viktor E. Frankl Quotes on Meaning of Life

Viktor Emil Frankl, born on March 26, 1905 was a respected Austrian psychiatrist and psychotherapist who established logotherapy, identified as the “third school” of Viennese psychotherapy following Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler.

Frankl’s theory, that an individual’s primary motivation is their search for life’s meaning, guided his approach to psychotherapy.

He showed an early interest in psychology and corresponded with Freud during his teenage years.

After gaining a medical doctorate, Frankl joined the Am Steinhof psychiatric hospital and later opened a private practice which he had to close due to rising Anti-Semitism.


His experiences in concentration camps, where he lost his family, affirmed his belief in the power of meaning in life.

After liberation, he penned his classic book “Man’s Search for Meaning”.

Until his death in 1997, Frankl continued teaching and contributing to psychology, his work now continued by the Viktor Frankl Institute in Vienna.

Related: Oliver Sacks Quotes from Famous British Neurologist

Here are some of the top Viktor E. Frankl Quotes for you.

Top 10 Viktor Frankl Quotes


1. “What is to give light must endure burning.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


2. “Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


3. “The meaning of my life is to help others find meaning in theirs.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


4. “The salvation of man is through love and in love.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


5. “Man’s search for meaning is the chief motivation of his life.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


6. “Love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


7. “No one can take away my freedom to choose how I will react.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


8. “Between stimulus and response is the freedom to choose.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl Quotes).


9. “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


10. “The point is not what we expect from life, but rather what life expects from us.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

Best Viktor Frankl Quotes

11. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


12. “When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

13. “Now we can understand Schopenhauer when he said that mankind was apparently doomed to vacillate eternally between the two extremes of distress and boredom.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

14. “Only to the extent that someone is living out this self-transcendence of human existence, is he truly human or does he become his true self. He becomes so, not by concerning himself with his self’s actualization, but by forgetting himself and giving himself, overlooking himself and focusing outward.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


15. “Life requires of man spiritual elasticity, so that he may temper his efforts to the chances that are offered.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

16. “Fundamentally, therefore, any man can, even under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him – mentally and spiritually. He may retain his human dignity even in a concentration camp.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

17. “Each of us carries a unique spark of the divine, and each of us is also an inseparable part of the web of life.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

18. “What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

19. “So live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


20. “Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

21. “Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone’s task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

22. “It is here that we encounter the central theme of existentialism: to live is to suffer, to survive is to find meaning in the suffering.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

23. “An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

24. “You can take away my wife, you can take away my children, you can strip me of my clothes and my freedom, but there is one thing no person can ever take away from me – and that is my freedom to choose how I will react to what happens to me!” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl Quotes).

25. “In times of crisis, people reach for meaning. Meaning is strength. Our survival may depend on our seeking and finding it.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

26. “If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

27. “If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death. Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


28. “Decisions, not conditions, determine what a man is.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

29. “Pain from problems and disappointments, etc., is inevitable in life, but suffering is a choice determined by whether you choose to compare your experience and pain to something better and therefore feel unlucky and bitter or to something worse and therefore feel lucky and grateful!” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

30. “In some ways suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

31. “Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

32. “Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become the next moment. By the same token, every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

Famous Viktor Frankl Quotes

33. “View your life from your funeral, looking back at your life experiences, what have you accomplished? What would you have wanted to accomplish but didn’t? What were the happy moments? What were the sad? What would you do again, and what you wouldn’t.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

34. “If we take a man as he is, we make him worse, but if we take man as he should be we make him capable of becoming what he can be.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

35. “Life is not primarily a quest for pleasure, as Freud believed, or a quest for power, as Alfred Adler taught, but a quest for meaning. The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her own life.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

36. “But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

37. “The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

38. “The existential vacuum manifests itself mainly in a state of boredom.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


39. “The quest for meaning is the key to mental health and human flourishing.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

40. “Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

41. “A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the “why” for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any “how”.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

42. “Man’s main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

43. “For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

44. “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ~ (Viktor Frankl Quotes).

45. “I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long run- in the long run, I say! – success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think of it.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

46. “For what then matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one’s predicament into a human achievement.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


47. “Pain is only bearable if we know it will end, not if we deny it exists.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

48. “Self-actualization cannot be attained if it is made an end in itself, but only as a side effect of self-transcendence.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

49. “There are two races of men in this world but only these two: the race of the decent man and the race of the indecent man.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

Powerful Viktor Frankl Quotes

50. “I recommend that the Statue of Liberty be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the west coast.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

51. “There are only two races, the decent and the indecent.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

52. “For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

53. “Man’s search for meaning is the primary motivation in his life and not a “secondary rationalization” of instinctual drives. This meaning is unique and specific in that it must and can be fulfilled by him alone; only then does it achieve a significance which will satisfy his own will to meaning.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

54. “We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: 1. by doing a deed; 2. by experiencing a value; and 3. by suffering.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

55. “It is not freedom from conditions, but it is freedom to take a stand toward the conditions.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

56. “Even when it is not fully attained, we become better by striving for a higher goal.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


57. “You don’t create your mission in life – you detect it.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

58. “The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

59. “The last of human freedoms – the ability to chose one’s attitude especially an attitude of gratitude in a given set of circumstances especially in difficult circumstances.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

60. “No man should judge unless he asks himself in absolute honesty whether in a similar situation he might not have done the same.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

61. “Humor was another of the soul’s weapons in the fight for self-preservation.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

62. “For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

63. “Life can be pulled by goals just as surely as it can be pushed by drives.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

64. “At any moment, man must decide, for better or for worse, what will be the monument of his existence.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

Inspiring Viktor Frankl Quotes

65. “What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

66. “Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

67. “And I quoted from Nietzsche: That which does not kill me, makes me stronger.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

68. “A human being is a deciding being.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

69. “Our generation is realistic, for we have come to know man as he really is. After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord’s Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

70. “Just as a small fire is extinguished by the storm whereas a large fire is enhanced by it – likewise a weak faith is weakened by predicament and catastrophes whereas a strong faith is strengthened by them.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

71. “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.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

72. “Happiness cannot be attained by wanting to be happy – it must come as the unintended consequence of working for a goal greater than oneself.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

73. “I never would have made it if I could not have laughed. It lifted me momentarily out of this horrible situation, just enough to make it livable.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


74. “Every human being has the freedom to change at any instant.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

75. “View life as a series of movie frames, the ending and meaning may not be apparent until the very end of the movie, and yet, each of the hundreds of individual frames has meaning within the context of the whole movie.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

76. “Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

77. “The more one forgets one’s own self, the more human the person becomes.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

78. “Either belief in God is unconditional or it is no belief at all.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

79. “It is always important to have something yet to do in life.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

Inspirational Viktor Frankl Quotes

80. “The more one forgives himself – by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love – the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

81. “I do the unpleasant tasks before I do the pleasant ones.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

82. “Set me like a seal upon thy heart, love is as strong as death.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

83. “The struggle for existence is a struggle ‘for’ something; it is purposeful and only in so being is it meaningful and able to bring meaning into life.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

84. “Man is capable of changing the world for the better if possible, and of changing himself for the better if necessary.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

85. “It is a peculiarity of man that he can only live by looking to the future.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


86. “Man’s inner strength may raise him above his outward fate.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

87. “Freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

88. “It is well known that humor, more than anything else in the human make-up, can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

89. “Everywhere man is confronted with fate, with a chance of achieving something through his own suffering.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

90. “Man can only find meaning for his existence in something outside himself.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

91. “I would say that our patients never really despair because of any suffering in itself! Instead, their despair stems in each instance from a doubt as to whether suffering is meaningful. Man is ready and willing to shoulder any suffering as soon and as long as he can see a meaning in it.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

92. “The attempt to develop a sense of humor and to see things in a humorous light is some kind of a trick learned while mastering the art of living.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

93. “Our main motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

94. “As the struggle for survival has subsided, the question has emerged: survival for what? Ever more people have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

95. “The meaning of our existence is not invented by ourselves, but rather detected.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

96. “Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

97. “It is the pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

Motivational Viktor Frankl Quotes

98. “No one can take from us the ability to choose our attitudes toward the circumstances in which we find ourselves. This is the last of human freedoms.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

99. “Having been is also a kind of being, and perhaps the surest kind.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

100. “Sunday neurosis, that kind of depression which afflicts people who become aware of the lack of content in their lives when the rush of the busy week is over and the void within themselves becomes manifest.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


101. “Challenging the meaning of life is the truest expression of the state of being human.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

102. “Being tolerant does not mean that I share another one’s belief. But it does mean that I acknowledge another one’s right to believe, and obey, his own conscience.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

103. “Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

104. “Life asks of every individual a contribution, and it is up to that individual to discover what it should be.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

105. “God is the partner of your most intimate soliloquies.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

106. “What is demanded of man is not, as some existential philosophers teach, to endure the meaninglessness of life, but rather to bear his incapacity to grasp its unconditional meaningfulness in rational terms.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

107. “Here lies the chance for a man either to make use of or to forgo the opportunities of attaining the moral values that a difficult situation may afford him. And this decides whether he is worthy of his sufferings or not.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

108. “Fear may come true that which one is afraid of.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

109. “Our attitude towards what has happened to us in life is the important thing to recognize. Once hopeless, my life is now hope-full, but it did not happen overnight. The last of human freedoms, to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, is to choose one’s own way.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

110. “It isn’t the past which holds us back, it’s the future; and how we undermine it, today.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

Thought-Provoking Viktor Frankl Quotes

111. “A man’s concern, even his despair, over the worthwhileness of life is an existential distress but by no means a mental disease.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


112. “Nothing is likely to help a person overcome or endure troubles than the consciousness of having a task in life.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

113. “Since Auschwitz, we know what man is capable of. And since Hiroshima, we know what is at stake.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

114. “Love goes very far beyond the physical person of the beloved. It finds its deepest meaning in its spiritual being, his inner self. Whether or not he is actually present, whether or not he is still alive at all, ceases somehow to be of importance.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

115. “No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

116. “Somewhere I heard a victorious “Yes” in answer to my question of the existence of ultimate purpose.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

117. “Once an individual’s search for meaning is successful, it not only renders him happy but also gives him the capability to cope with suffering.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

118. “I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

119. “Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, though these are things which cannot inspire envy.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

120. “There is nothing in the world, I venture to say, that would so effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one’s life.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

121. “In his creative work, the artist is dependent on sources and resources deriving from the spiritual unconscious.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

122. “I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and in the lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


123. “Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

124. “Logotherapy bases its technique called “paradoxical intention” on the twofold fact that fear brings about that which one is afraid of, and that hyper-intention makes impossible what one wishes.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

125. “The crowning experience of all, for the homecoming man, is the wonderful feeling that, after all, he has suffered, there is nothing he need fear anymore – except his God.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

126. “To suffer unnecessarily is masochistic rather than heroic.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

Wise Viktor Frankl Quotes

127. “Questions about the meaning of life can never be answered by sweeping statements. “Life” does not mean something vague, but something very real and concrete, just as life’s tasks are also very real and concrete. They form man’s destiny, which is different and unique for each individual. No man and no destiny can be compared with any other man or any other destiny. No situation repeats itself, and each situation calls for a different response.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

128. “For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

129. “A human being is not one thing among others; things determine each other, but man is ultimately self-determining. What he becomes-within the limits of endowment and environment-he has made out of himself.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

130. “I became acquainted with those martyrs whose behavior in camp, whose suffering and death, bore witness to the fact that the last inner freedom cannot be lost.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

131. “Man is not fully conditioned and determined but rather determines himself whether he gives in to conditions or stands up to them. In other words, man is ultimately self-determining. Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

132. “How can we dare to predict the behavior of man? We may predict the movements of a machine, of an automaton; more than this, we many even try to predict the mechanisms or “dynamisms” of the human psyche as well. But man is more than psyche.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

133. “Man ultimately decides for himself! And in the end, education must be education towards the ability to decide.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

134. “When a man can’t find meaning in his life, he distracts himself with pleasure.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

135. “As for the concept of collective guilt, I personally think that it is totally unjustified to hold one person responsible for the behavior of another person or a collective of persons.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

136. “Thus, human existence-at least as long as it has not been neurotically distorted-is always directed to something, or someone, other than itself, be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter lovingly.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

137. “Austrian public-opinion pollsters recently reported that those held in the highest esteem by most of the people interviewed are neither the great artists nor the great scientists, neither the great statesmen nor the great sport figures, but those who master a hard lot with their heads held high.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

138. “It said to me, ‘I am here – I am here – I am life, eternal life.’” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

139. “These tasks, and therefore the meaning of life, differ from man to man, and from moment to moment. Thus it is impossible to define the meaning in life in a general way.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).


140. “Man’s last freedom is his freedom to choose how he will react in any given situation.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

141. “Human kindness can be found in all groups, even those which as a whole it would be easy to condemn.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

142. “Woe to him who saw no more sense in his life, no aim, no purpose, and therefore no point in carrying on.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

143. “Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

144. “Despair is suffering without meaning.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

145. “Suffering presents us with a challenge: to find our goals and purpose in our lives that make even the worst situation worth living through.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

146. “Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

147. “What you have experienced, no power on earth can take from you.” ~ (Viktor E. Frankl).

You Might Like

Short Biography of Viktor E. Frankl

Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor developed logotherapy, emphasizing the quest for life’s meaning as a key motivator.

Credit: Goodreads

This approach, distinguished as the third Viennese psychotherapy school following Freud and Adler, underlines existential and humanistic psychology aspects.

Frankl, who authored 39 books, is renowned for “Man’s Search for Meaning,” reflecting on his concentration camp experiences.

Full Name Viktor Emil Frankl
Born 26 March 1905 Vienna, Austria-Hungary
Died 2 September 1997 (aged 92) Vienna, Austria
Resting place Zentralfriedhof, Vienna, Austria, Old Jewish Section
Alma mater University of Vienna (MD, 1930; PhD, 1948)
Occupation(s) Neurologist, psychiatrist
Known for Logotherapy, Existential analysis
Parents Gabriel Frankl, Elsa Frankl
Spouse(s) Tilly Grosser, m. 1941 – c. 1944–1945 (her death);
Eleonore Katharina Schwindt, m. 1947
Children Dr. Gabriele Frankl-Vesely

Born in Vienna to a Jewish family, Frankl’s fascination with psychology and meaning emerged early, leading to interactions with Freud and Adler during his youth.

Despite diverging from Adler due to his belief in meaning’s central role, Frankl’s work laid the groundwork for logotherapy by the mid-1920s.

Quick Facts About Viktor E. Frankl

  • Viktor Frankl was an Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor.
  • He founded logotherapy, emphasizing life’s meaning as a central human motivational force.
  • Frankl was born in Vienna to a Jewish family.
  • His interest in psychology started in junior high school.
  • He began a correspondence with Sigmund Freud as a teenager.
  • Frankl studied medicine at the University of Vienna.
  • He published his first scientific paper in 1924.
  • Frankl questioned Freudian psychoanalysis and joined Alfred Adler’s circle.
  • He was expelled from Adler’s group for his focus on meaning in human life.
  • Frankl developed his theory of logotherapy from 1926.
  • He organized youth counseling centers in Vienna to prevent teen suicides.
  • Frankl gained experience at Steinhof Psychiatric Hospital treating suicidal women.
  • His work at Rothschild Hospital helped many avoid Nazi euthanasia programs.
  • Frankl and his family were sent to concentration camps in 1942; he lost his father, mother, brother, and wife.
  • He survived three years in four concentration camps.
  • Post-war, he led the neurology department at the General Polyclinic Vienna.
  • Frankl earned a PhD in philosophy in 1948.
  • He was awarded a professorship in neurology and psychiatry at the University of Vienna in 1955.
  • Frankl argued against the reductionist tendencies of early psychotherapeutic approaches.
  • He wrote “Man’s Search for Meaning” based on his concentration camp experiences.
  • Logotherapy offers techniques like Paradoxical intention and Dereflection.
  • Frankl received the 1985 Oskar Pfister Award for contributions to religion and psychiatry.
  • He faced controversy for his accounts of his Auschwitz experiences.
  • Critics argued Frankl’s focus on meaning could apply to any ideology, including Nazism.
  • Frankl’s early work was linked to the Nazi-affiliated Göring Institute.
  • He maintained a complicated relationship with Jewish communities post-war.
  • Frankl was accused of performing unethical medical experiments.
  • Holocaust Deniers used a critique of Frankl’s work but also defended it.
  • Frankl received numerous awards and honors throughout his life.
  • He remarried in 1947, respected religious differences, and was known to pray daily.

Top Questions about Viktor E. Frankl

Q: Who founded logotherapy and what is its central principle?

A: Viktor Emil Frankl founded logotherapy, which is based on the principle that the search for a life’s meaning is the central human motivational force.

Q: How many schools of Viennese Psychotherapy are there, and where does logotherapy rank among them?

A: There are three schools of Viennese Psychotherapy, with logotherapy being promoted as the third, following the schools established by Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler.

Q: Can you name a book by Viktor Frankl that discusses his experiences in Nazi concentration camps?

A: “Man’s Search for Meaning” is a book by Viktor Frankl that is based on his experiences in various Nazi concentration camps.

Q: What sparked Viktor Frankl’s interest in psychology during his early life?

A: Viktor Frankl’s interest in psychology was sparked when he began taking night classes on applied psychology while in junior high school.

Q: In what year did Viktor Frankl publish his first scientific paper, and where was it published?

A: In 1924, Viktor Frankl published his first scientific paper in “The International Journal of Psychoanalysis.”

Q: What significant action did Frankl take to prevent teen suicides in Vienna during his medical studies?

A: Frankl organized youth counselling centers to address the high number of teen suicides in Vienna, significantly reducing the suicide rate among Viennese students.

Q: What was the impact of the Nazi annexation of Austria on Frankl’s private practice?

A: The Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938 severely limited Viktor Frankl’s opportunity to treat patients in his private practice.

Q: How many years did Frankl spend in concentration camps, and which camps were they?

A: Viktor Frankl spent three years in four different concentration camps, including Theresienstadt and Auschwitz.

Q: When did Frankl earn his PhD in philosophy, and what was his dissertation about?

A: In 1948, Frankl earned a PhD in philosophy with a dissertation titled “The Unconscious God,” which examines the relationship between psychology and religion.

Q: What prestigious award did the American Psychiatric Association bestow upon Frankl, and in what year?

A: In 1985, Viktor Frankl was awarded the Oskar Pfister Award by the American Psychiatric Association for his contributions to religion and psychiatry.

Q: How does logotherapy propose to realize meaning in life?

A: Logotherapy suggests that meaning in life can be realized through making a difference in the world, having significant experiences, or adopting specific attitudes.

Q: What is one primary technique of logotherapy and existential analysis?

A: Paradoxical intention is a primary technique of logotherapy, where clients learn to overcome obsessions or anxieties by self-distancing and humorous exaggeration.

Q: What controversy surrounds Viktor Frankl’s account as an “Auschwitz survivor”?

A: Timothy Pytell highlighted discrepancies and omissions in Frankl’s Auschwitz survivor account, suggesting that Frankl’s time at Auschwitz was much shorter than implied and that his descriptions may be misleading.

Q: How did Viktor Frankl’s stance on the post-war pursuit of justice impact his relationships with the Jewish community?

A: Frankl’s stance on forgiveness and against assigning collective guilt for the Holocaust led to frayed relationships with many in the Viennese and larger American Jewish community.

Q: What personal tragedy did Frankl endure during his time in concentration camps?

A: During his time in concentration camps, Viktor Frankl lost his father, mother, brother, and wife to various causes including starvation, pneumonia, and murder in the gas chambers.

Share with others!
Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar