Study and Theory/
Holocaust Remembrance Day

Victor Frankel

Faith and desperation

Sections from his book “Man is searching for meaning”

And there were always many opportunities to choose. Every day, every hour called to sever the decisions that we determined, whether to surrender or not to surrender to the forces who threatened to take from you your very being, your inner freedom.

I was once a witness to a dramatic demonstration about the genuine connection between loss of faith in the future and this dangerous despair. P, the elder of our bloc, a famous composer and writer of librettos, one day whispered to me: “I want to tell you something, Doctor. I dreamt a strange dream. A voice said to me, that I will be able to have one wish, that I should just say what I want to know and all my questions will be answered. What did I ask, do you think? That I wanted to know when the war would end for me. Do you know what I mean, Doctor – for me! I wanted to know, when will we, when will our camp be released and our suffering  cease.”

“And when did you dream this dream?” I asked.

“In February 1945” he replied. It was the beginning of March.

“And what did the voice in your dream answer you?”

He whispered a secret to me: “the thirtieth of March”.

When P told me about his dream, he was still full of hope and certainty, that the words of the dream would come true. However the closer that the promised day approached, it became clearer and clearer according to the news from the battle fronts that there was not much chance that we would be free on the designated date. On the twenty ninth of March P suddenly became ill and had a high fever.

On the thirtieth of March, the day before the prediction of his dream that the war and his suffering would end, he became delirious and lost consciousness.

On the thirty first of March he passed away.

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