Some of the most hopeless places imaginable were the German concentration camps in World War II. Most people who entered those camps faced horrendous living conditions: far too little water and food, near nakedness, cold, mistreatment by the guards, and probably death by mass extermination. Viktor Frankl was a survivor of one of those concentration camps. He wrote about his experience and observations in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning. “The prisoner who had lost faith in the future – his future – was doomed. With his loss of belief in the future, he also lost his spiritual hold; he let himself decline and became subject to mental and physical decay.” (p.117) To survive you had to have some kind of hope.
There was hope to be found in those camps! In my research I came across a picture of some concentration camp mothers with their babies. The picture was taken after the liberation of the camp, but the babies had been born there. In the midst of all the death, new life was born and survived. There can be hope even in concentration camps! If we’re to thrive at living we need to have hope.