Viktor Frankl (26 March 1905 – 2 Sept. 1997) was an Austrian Jew and Psychiatrist. In 1942, he and his family were deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto. On 19 October 1944, he was deported to the Dachau subcamp Kaufering III, where he arrived on 25 October, after a brief layover of three days in the transit-camp section at Auschwitz.
After the war, he wrote a book about his experiences in the concentration camps. The English translation of this book, titled Man’s Search for Meaning, became a huge bestseller in the U.S. In this book, Frankl gave the false impression that he spent considerable time at Auschwitz, when in fact he was never even admitted to the camp itself. He also claimed to have been liberated at Auschwitz in the spring of 1945, hence half a year after having been deported there, although Auschwitz was captured by the Red Army already on 27 January 1945.
On the one hand, he reported about medical care that injured and sick inmates received at Auschwitz, but on the other hand, he also reported to have seen jets of huge flames shooting out of the crematorium chimneys. Because this was technically impossible, this is simply a lie. (See the entry on Flames, out of Crematory Chimneys.)
Frankl mentioned twice that he was pleased, in fact delighted, to see water really come out of the showerheads. Thus, he cleverly implied that, sometimes, gas must have come out through the showerheads – although he never explicitly wrote this.
In this book, Frankl often mixes his actual experiences with rumors, assumptions and insinuations, and wraps it all in a language of doom and gloom. It is the typical work of a psychiatrist whose life work is manipulating other peoples’ minds.
Interestingly, the transport by which Frankl and his family were deported, is mentioned in Danuta Czech’s Auschwitz Chronicle. Only a few of the 1,500 Jews in this transport were admitted to that camp. The rest, Czech insists, were “killed in the gas chamber of Crematorium III.” As usual, she does not provide any proof for this homicidal claim (Czech 1990, page 736). Therefore, either Frankl was one of the miraculous and lucky few, or… no one was gassed at all. (For more details, see O’Keefe 2001; Schepers 2023.)