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       Biography: Life and Work
 
viktor frankl  Viktor E. Frankl, M.D., Ph.D.
 Neurologist and psychiatrist
 Founder of Logotherapy and Existential Analysis


 © IMAGNO / K. Vesely
 

 
BORN: March 26, 1905, Vienna
DIED: September 2, 1997, Vienna

ACADEMIC TITLES

M.D. (1930), Ph.D. (1949), Dr.h.c.mult.

FAMILY

First marriage (1941) with Tilly, b. Grosser (died in Bergen-Belsen 1945)
Second marriage (1947) with Eleonore, b. Schwindt
Daughter Gabriele; 2 grandchildren, Katharina and Alexander
3 great-grandchildren, Anna, Paul, and Elena


LIFE AND WORK

Viktor Emil Frankl, M.D., Ph.D. was Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School.

1940-42 Frankl was director of the Neurological Department of the Rothschild Hospital

During World War II he spent 3 years in various concentration camps, including Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, and Dachau.

1946-70 he was director of the Vienna Neurological Policlinic.

He was Visiting Professor at Harvard and at universities in Pittsburgh, San Diego and Dallas. The U.S. International University in California installed a special chair for logotherapy - this is the psychotherapeutic school founded by Frankl, often called the "Third Viennese School" (after Freud's psychoanalysis and Adler's individual psychology.) He received 29 honorary doctorates from universities in all parts of the world.

The American Psychiatric Association bestowed upon him the Oskar Pfister Award.

Frankl authored 39 books which to date (2014) have been published in 43 languages. His last two books are "Man's Search for Ultimate Meaning" and "Viktor Frankl - Recollections", both published in 1997. Up to 1997 the book "Man's Search for Meaning" had sold over nine million copies in the USA alone. According to a survey conducted by the Library of Congress and the Book-of-the-Month Club it belongs to "the ten most influential books in America." (New York Times, November 20, 1991). And the readers of Japan's "Yomiuri Shimbun" newspaper voted for "Man's Search for Meaning as "one of the ten books to be passed to the twenty-first century" (Yomiuri Shimbun, Tokyo, 2000/11/30)
List of all books by Viktor Frankl

The literature on Logotherapy has grown to such an extent that a complete bibliography is impossible. A regularly updated list of publications on Logotherapy and Existential Analysis may be accessed here:
Online Bibliography

Frankl held lectures at 209 universities on all 5 continents.

According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, his work is "perhaps the most significant thinking since Freud and Adler."

Viktor Frankl was appointed Honorary Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Frankl held the Solo Flight Certificate and the Mountain Guide badge of the Alpine Club "Donauland". Three difficult climbing trails (on the Rax and Peilstein mountains) were named after him.

In 1995 Frankl received the Honorary Citizenship of his native city Vienna.


PROFESSORSHIPS
  • Distinguished Professor of Logotherapy, U.S. International University, San Diego, California
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Dallas, Texas
  • Harvard University, Cambridge
HONORARY DOCTOR DEGREES
  1. Loyola University, Chicago (1970)
  2. Edgecliffe College, Cincinnati (1970)
  3. Rockford College, Illinois (1972)
  4. Mount Mary College, Wisconsin (1984)
  5. Universidade do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil (1984)
  6. Universidad Andres Bello, Caracas (1984)
  7. University of South Africa (1984)
  8. Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires (1985)
  9. Universidad Catolica Argentina, Buenos Aires (1985)
  10. Universidad de Buenos Aires (1985)
  11. Universidad Francisco Marroquin, Guatemala (1985)
  12. University of Vienna (1986)
  13. Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Argentina (1986)
  14. Universidad Nacional de Entre Rios, Argentina (1986)
  15. Universidad Nacional de San Luis, Argentina (1986)
  16. Universidad del Aconcagua, Argentina (1986)
  17. Universidade de Brasilia (1988)
  18. University of Haifa, Israel (1988)
  19. International Academy for Philosophy in Liechtenstein (1989)
  20. University of Kopenhagen (1989)
  21. University of Pretoria, South Africa (1990)
  22. Universidad Gabriela Mistral, Santiago de Chile (1991)
  23. University of Santa Clara, California (1991)
  24. University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (1992)
  25. University of Prague (1994)
  26. University of Lublin, Poland (1994)
  27. University of Salzburg (1994)
  28. Semmelweis-University Budapest (1996)
  29. Ohio State University, Columbus (1997)
HONORARY MEMBERSHIPS
  • Austrian Academy of Sciences
  • Societies for Neurology and Psychiatry in Austria, Peru and Guatemala
AWARDS
  • John F. Kennedy Star
  • Oscar Pfister Award of the American Psychiatric Association
  • Theodor Billroth Medal
  • Albert Schweitzer Medal
  • Cardinal Innitzer Prize
  • City of Vienna Prize for Science
  • Honorary Ring of the City of Vienna
  • Honorary Citizen of the Capital of Texas
  • Great Cross of Merit with Star (Germany)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award of the Foundation for Hospice and Homecare
  • Nomination for the Peace Nobel Prize by the Pontifical University of Porto Alegre (Brazil), a Texan university and the "Evolution of Psychotherapy Foundation" (Phoenix, Arizona).
  • Viktor Frankl Catedra at the University of Caracas (Venezuela)
  • Frankl received the highest honor the Republic of Austria can confer on a scientist; it is the membership (since 1981) in the "Curia of the Great Badge of Honour", an Order restricted to 18 Austrians and 18 citizens of other countries.
  • Ehrenpreis des Österreichischen Buchhandels für Toleranz in Denken und Handeln (1991)
  • Großes Ehrenzeichen der Österreichischen Ärztekammer (1995)
  • Great Cross of Merit with Star of the Republic of Austria (1995)
  • Great Badge of Honour of the Austrian Medical Society (1995)
  • Maryland Psychological Association Outstanding Lifetime Contribution To Psychology Award
  • Honorary Citizenship of Vienna (1995)
  • Medicus Magnus Medal and International Golden Star "Merit for Humanism" (Polish Academy of Medicine, 1997)

FRANKL AS EPONYM
  • Carinthia, Austria: The Pedagogical University of Carinthia was named "Viktor Frankl Hochschule" (2007)
  • Aachen, Germany: A School for the Handicapped was named "Viktor Frankl-Schule" (2007)
  • Frankfurt, Germany: A Special School for the Handicapped was named "Viktor-Frankl-Schule" (2001)
  • Mölln near Hamburg, Germany: A social-psychiatric institution called "Viktor E. Frankl Häuser" was founded (1986)
  • Caracas, Venezuela: At the University of Caracas a "Viktor Frankl Chair for Medical Anthropology" was founded
FRANKL IN PUBLIC SPACE
  • On Viktor Frankl's place of birth, Czerningasse 6, Vienna, a memorial plaque was unveiled by the Austrian Minister of Science
  • On the front of Viktor Frankl's home, Mariannengasse 1, a memorial plaque was unveiled in 2002
  • On the Vienna University Campus (Altes Allgemeines Krankenhaus) a "Viktor Frankl Path" was opened in 2001
  • Zirkusgasse 52: Municipal apartment building "Viktor-Frankl-Hof"
  • The park on the grounds of the former "Wiener Allgemeine Poliklinik" was named "Viktor-Frankl-Park"
  • Reichenau an der Rax (Lower Austria): "Dr. Viktor Frankl-Gasse"
  • Klagenfurt (Carinthia): "Viktor-Frankl-Gasse"
  • Türkheim, Bavaria; "Viktor Frankl Weg" around the grounds of the former concentration camp
  • Kaufering, Bavaria; "Viktor-Frankl-Weg" behind the railway tracks towards the concentration camp memorial
  • On the Rax mountain three difficult climbing routes are named after Viktor Frankl

DOCUMENTARIES (Selection)
  • "Viktor Frankl - Wissenschaftler, Humanist, Alpinist". Documentary and Commemorative Tribute. Servus TV, August 2012.
  • "Viktor and I": Documentary with interviews of friends and colleagues about their encounters with Frankl; 2011
  • "Bergwelten: Die Trotzmacht des Geistes - Der Alpinist Viktor Frankl". TV feature (Servus TV) by Lutz Maurer, broadcast December 2011.
  • "The Choice is Yours - The Life and Philosophy of Viktor Frankl". TV feature (PBS) produced by Ruth Yorkin Drazen, 2003.
  • "Viktor Frankl: ... trotzdem Ja zum Leben sagen". Austrian TV feature by Rose Kern, broadcast March 1994
  • "Dem Leben Sinn geben - Viktor Frankl". Austrian TV feature by Rose Kern, broadcast October 1991
  • Austrian TV "Discussion with Reinhold Messner, 1990"
  • "Westfilm" feature by Adolf Opel ("Lebendes Wort - bleibendes Werk") (deutsch/englisch)
  • Chris Lohner im Gespräch mit Viktor Frankl (3sat, April 1990)
  • "Viktor Frankl und sein Lieblingsbuch" (last show of the famous format "Spiegelbilder"; Austrian TV - ORF, September 1989)
  • "Leidenschaft Berg" (Austrian TV - ORF)
  • Documentary with Gertrud Simmerding (Bayerischer Rundfunk)
  • Interview with Franz Kreuzer (Austrian TV - ORF)
  • Dialog with Prof. Hommes (Bayerischer Rundfunk)
  • Documentary with Lutz Besch (Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk - NWR)
  • "Nachtstudio" with Wolfgang Kraus (Austrian TV - ORF)

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