I’m suspicious and wonder if maybe I read a version of this book that didn’t include the second half? I really, genuinely don’t recall reading about logotherapy—just reading about Frankl’s experiences in the Nazi concentration camp system. I will write my review from that perspective, because it certainly seems like the second part of this book lost a few readers.
I’m of that schooling system that emphasized the Great Wars and All The Horror Therein quite a bit. American exceptionalism was ne’er to be found, except when it came to our prodigious ability to take advantage of being an isolated continent to spin up as many weapons of war as our Great-Depression-Bored hands could make. Vietnam War? Korean War? Civil War? WW1/2? Name it and I’ve studied all the Follies of Great Men that went into it.
I guess what I’m saying is thank you, Mr. Green, for making sure that we left school with our heads on straight, and Mme Hoang for insisting that we spend quiet, reflective time at the National Holocaust Museum when we were all exceedingly nerdy and hormonal eighth graders.
It’s important to put into perspective the vast numbers of genocides that have occurred throughout history. Which is to say, as far back as human beings have been able to brutally murder one another for not adhering to some strict vision of purity/religious fervor/political ideology, we’ve been doing so. A friend of mine cut off a promising friendship over a disagreement about the Armenian genocide (as in…the fact that it happened). But there’s something next-level horrifying about the Holocaust. Maybe it’s the bureaucracy that went alongside, accomplished with what we still think of as Germany efficiency? The length of time it managed to continue, despite the fact that most of the Western world was focused in one way or another on what was going on in Germany? The sheer volume of literature in English that’s been penned on the subject?
I’ve been blabbering on for a while and haven’t gotten to anything regarding this book. I suppose the point is that if you haven’t read any Holocaust reminders recently, this is a good one. It stands on its own, Frankl manages to mine horror without overwhelming readers, so that you can learn anew what happens when the world looks away.