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If you looked weak, you went straight to the gas chambers. Frankl himself was separated from his wife and would not know what became of her until after the war.
The medical men among us learned first of all: “Textbooks tell lies!
How he and his fellows were stripped and shaved completely.
How all of their documents and personal possessions were confiscated and burned, including his life’s work of papers related to logotherapy.90% of the Jewish POWs didn’t even make it into the camp.
We were unable to clean our teeth, and yet, in spite of that and a severe vitamin deficiency, we had healthier gums than ever before.
We had to wear the same shirts for half a year, until they had lot all appearance of being shirts.
Frankl talks of the terrifying journey into the camps.
For days we were unable to wash, even partially, because of frozen water pipes, and yet the sores and abrasions on hands which were dirty from work in the soil did not suppurate (that is, unless there was frostbite).
In attempting this psychological presentation and a psychopathological explanation of the typical characteristics of a concentration camp inmate, I may give the impression that the human being is completely and unavoidably influenced by his surroundings. Is there no spiritual freedom in regard to behavior and reaction to any given surroundings?
The fact that many endured (keeping in mind that the majority did not) gives one overwhelming gratitude for not having to face the same situation.
It also gives one overwhelming confidence in the capabilities of their own mind and body.