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Although Frankl had began a book on his psychological theories prior to his imprisonment in the concentration camps the manuscripts of which were sewn into the lining of his coat immediately before his detention but subsequently lost when stripped of his belongings in the camp his observations examinations and analysis of the behavior of concentration camp prisoners strengthened the foundation on which his theories were based Because of his background in psychiatry Frankl could not help but to develop findings from his observations of both his own behavior while imprisoned and the behavior of fellow prisoners In Frankls two-part book the first part of the book titled Experiences in a Concentration Camp offers the reader insight into the turmoils of the common camp prisoner its impact and influence on the prisoners behavior and Frankls findings from observation and analysis of those behaviors Through his personal experiences and observations Frankl found that there were three phases of a prisoners mental reaction to life in a concentration camp with each period identifiable by its own set of symptoms and characteristics and within each period different self-defense mechanisms were utilized The first phase described by Frankl was the period following admission to the concentration camp Although Frankl and the other prisoners after having their first contact with camp prisoners who looked well fed initially developed a condition of delusion of reprieve this state of mind was quickly dispelled as it was during this first phase that the prisoners perhaps for the first time in their lives and after having had already been taken from their homes separated from their families stripped of all their personal belongings and ultimately stripped of their identities were exposed and subjected to a highly concentrated world of senseless brutality humiliation beatings dehumanization deprivation and death Being subjected to such conditions combined with the prisoners awareness of the camps gas chambers crematoriums and ongoing massacres its not surprising that Frankl
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