Frankl says that the prisoners in the concentration camp lived in a provisional existence of unknown limit, because they did not know when their suffering would end, or if they would ever be freed from the camps. They could not plan ahead, and so the prisoners found themselves unable to cope with their situations.
Provisional existence of unknown limit Term Timeline in Man’s Search for Meaning
The timeline below shows where the term Provisional existence of unknown limit appears in Man’s Search for Meaning. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Experiences in a Concentration Camp
...that in psychological terms, life in the camps could be referred to as a “ provisional existence of unknown limit .” This meant that the prisoners had no idea how long they needed to survive... (full context)