Re·in·car·na·tion: rēənkärˈnāSH(ə)n/

noun

  1. the rebirth of a soul in a new body.

    synonyms: rebirth, transmigration of the soul, metempsychosisMore

    • a person or animal in whom a particular soul is believed to have been reborn.

      plural noun: reincarnations

      “he is said to be a reincarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu”

    • a new version of something from the past.

Like ghosts, UFOs, demons, Big Foots, Yetis, paranormal activity, electronic voice phenomena, angels, and extra sensory perception, I definitely do not believe that we are reincarnated. I don’t believe in near death experiences either – and while I may have blogged about a ‘demon’ being in my house in an earlier post, I really don’t believe that there is one here – my fiance smokes a lot of weed and well,..there is such a phenomenon as a cannabis hallucination – the house is simply very old and creaks a great deal. What about the door knob and the flying candles? That’s a tale for another day.

How about the faces in the mirror that I saw transposed over my own when I burned a candle in a dark room trying to ‘see’ winning lottery numbers and instead, saw something rather bizarre? Can I really explain that man’s face with the drooping, cowboy-like mustache, or that woman with the dark, upswept hair that looked like something from the late 1890s to early 1910s. Can I explain it? Maybe it was just a trick of the candlelight. Yet there are other things that I cannot wholly explain, one being my intense fascination for nearly anything that has to do with World War Two – and Germany.

Can I account for my strange obsession with Nazi Germany, my yearning to visit concentration camps, my odd feelings that perhaps I was a Jewish woman during that horrid time, maybe even one who was married to an Aryan or at least in love with one? While I cannot speak a word of Yiddish and German continues to elude me – somewhat – I am still drawn to the country, to that time, and to the types of people living under Hitler’s Terror Regime – Jews, Gypsies, Socialists, and Aryans that were totally against that totalitarian state and even resisted it. I was a child when the mysterious yet compelling need to visit Germany first manifested and the country still has a special magnetism for me to this day, and I cannot describe to you why or how or any of it.

I was in the sixth grade and during that school year we studied Western Europe in social studies. I was enthralled with ancient Greece but no other moment in European history caught my attention the way that of Germany and World War Two did. When I first saw the photo of a bombed out Berlin, the only structure recognizable being the ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, I felt an oddness within that cannot today be described. I knew at that time I would see the actual ruins someday, and that vision became a reality in October 2001. I also knew, upon gazing at a photo of Mad King Ludwig’s fantasy castle Neuschwanstein, that I would see it as well – and I did, in 1999 and in 2010.

Am I the reincarnation of a cowboy with a droopy mustache and a woman who wore her dark hair in a bun? Who can tell? Who really knows for certain? I don’t believe it myself, but it’s weird to have such a strong feeling for a country the way I do for Germany. Was the woman with the dark bun a Jewish lady from that time? I don’t know. Some women did wear their tresses brushed back into a bun during those years – other than the hairstyle, I couldn’t see much of her features as they were sort of transposed over my own. But I have had a sort of empathy for suffering people in my past, and I’m always reading books about the personal experiences of those that managed to survive World War Two, whether Jewish or not – though I do prefer the memoirs penned by Jewish women. Does this mean I am the reincarnation of a cowboy and a woman who lived during Nazi Germany? I don’t know but I wish that I could find out.

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