Are there ghosts? What about past lives?

Reconstructed barrack windows (2010).

Teenagers and undergrads sometimes asked about ghosts. Older visitors seemed to express the same question, but used words like: spirit, energy or feeling.

I personally never witnessed ghosts, but did know a guide who developed a high-pitched and sometimes painful, ringing in his ear. It only happened in and around the memorial, and in some areas of the memorial, the sound became louder. At home in Munich, he never felt it. His doctor could find nothing physically wrong. He decided to consult a Chinese doctor who worked with alternative healing methods. This Chinese doctor suggested that perhaps spirits of the people who died in Dachau were trying to communicate with him. Ultimately, the ringing caused the guide to stop giving tours. He experienced the ringing once when he and his wife were driving to Austria. He was behind the wheel and she was in the passenger seat, when the ringing started. A few minutes later it was gone. The moment he mentioned it, she noticed that they had driven past a Holocaust related memorial.

I met shaman once, trained in the Peruvian tradition, who felt that the space in Dachau has been healed. She believes that healing takes place with each good-intentioned visitor who walks across the grounds, which by now is millions of people.

What about past lives? Reincarnation?

I am a spiritual person, but am not sure I believe in past lives or reincarnation, though there are convincing arguments that life works this way. I have met people who believe and suggested that maybe this is why I have such a deep connection to the history. I’m not against this idea and because I’ve met others like me – people who have no “logical” explanation as to why they are connected – reincarnation could be the answer. But belief in karma would also change the way we perceive the victims and survivors, wouldn’t it? Maybe it would change how we see perpetrators and bystanders? I don’t know.

Click here to read the next question: Where was God?