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READING | Viktor Frankl: Nevertheless Say “Yes” To Life

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Austrian Cultural Forum Washington/Embassy of Austria

3524 International Court Northwest

Washington, DC 20008

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The ACF Washington is honored to welcome Gregorij H. von Leitis and Michael Lahr from the NY based non-profit organization Elysium - Between Two Continents, presenting the program „Nevertheless Say ‘Yes’ to Life“, a literary collage from the groundbreaking works of Viktor Frankl.

Concept & Introduction: Michael Lahr
Recitation: Gregorij H. von Leitis

In the 1920s, Viktor Frankl (1905–1997) founded the "Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy", the so-called logotherapy or existential analysis. In his approach to therapy he focused on meaning and value. Having survived the Holocaust as the only one of his immediate family, Frankl reflected upon his experiences in the concentration camps in his famous book "Man's search for Meaning", which has become one of the ten most influential books in the US. Lesser known is his play "Synchronization in Birkenwald: A Metaphysical Conference", which he wrote in 1946. Soon after the Holocaust, Frankl advocated for reconciliation as the only way out of the destructive catastrophe of war: those aspects of Frankl's work are more important than ever in today's broken world.


ABOUT VIKTOR FRANKL
Viktor Frankl was born in Vienna in 1905 into a Jewish family. He studied medicine and later became a neurologist and psychiatrist. In his early formative years he was in close contact with Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler, but later diverged from Freud's psychoanalysis and Adler's individual psychology.

A year before Hitler's invasion of Austria, Frankl opened his own private practice. But right after the "Anschluss" he was immediately prohibited from treating "Aryan" patients. In 1940, Frankl became the Head of Neurology at the Rothschild hospital, Vienna's last remaining hospital, where Jewish patients could go to.
On September 25, 1942, he, his wife and his parents were deported to Theresienstadt. Frankl's father died there in 1943, his mother was murdered in Auschwitz, and his wife in Bergen-Belsen. With one of the last transports to the East – on October 19, 1944 – Frankl was deported to Auschwitz. On April 27, 1945 he was liberated by the US-army in Türkheim. After having endured three years of suffering in the concentration camp he returned to Vienna and gave lectures about his own approach to psychological healing, that even in the most painful and dehumanizing situation, life has potential meaning.
Frankl published more than 39 books which have been translated into 40 languages. He lectured all over the world, and several times was invited as a visiting professor to leading American universities. Viktor Frankl died in 1997.

Photo | (c) The Lahr von Leitis Archive

*Parking on International Court is available after 6:30 pm (for the duration of the event) or on 36th Street; access to the Embassy through the park behind the building.

A registration is not a guarantee of a seat as these are assigned on a first-come first-served basis. Doors close at event start-time.

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Austrian Cultural Forum Washington/Embassy of Austria

3524 International Court Northwest

Washington, DC 20008

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