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Holocaust Souls Who Return
Three strange and fascinating accounts of post-Holocaust reincarnation.
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Adam Jacobs: Hello and welcome to Beyond Belief. Today I'm going to be speaking with three individuals who are part of a much larger group who claim that they are each reincarnated souls who perished in the Holocaust. Is that just the result of a delusion or an overactive imagination? Or could this constitute actual evidence for reincarnation? That question and more coming up on Beyond Belief.
Hi everyone. Today I'm speaking with noted author Sarah Rigler, whose most recent book “I've been here before: when Souls of the Holocaust Return” is the product of eight years of research into reincarnated souls from the Holocaust. Hi Sarah, how are you? Welcome to the show.
Sara Rigler: I'm doing very well, thank God.
Adam Jacobs: Great to have you here and to hear about this extremely fascinating and potentially critical, I think, aspect of life, one that has not gotten so much attention. And I wonder if, just to start things off, you could just give us a little background as to your story and how you came to this whole way of thinking.
Sara Rigler: Well, I was born in 1948 in outside Philadelphia to second generation American parents who had no direct link to the Holocaust. I guess all Ashkenazi Jews lost somebody, but we didn't know anybody that we lost. And there were just too many strange things in my life. For example, I had this seething hatred of Germans and anything connected with Germany as a child.
My parents didn't talk about the Holocaust, so I didn't know where it came from and I thought all Jewish kids had this, but I learned when I was 11 years old that no they didn't, and I wouldn't take a ride in a Volkswagen. I wouldn't buy German products. When my father got a German camera, I refused to let him take my picture with it, just this seething hatred. And then when I was a freshman in high school, at the beginning of my freshman year, we had to pick a foreign language to learn.
We had a choice of French, Spanish or German. So all my friends chose German, or excuse me, all my friends chose French or Spanish. And I chose German. Well, you hate German and everything about Germany. Why are you choosing to learn German? And I said, I want to read Mein Kampf in the original, I mean I was just obsessed with the Holocaust.
And this was a time, please understand, in the fifties and early sixties, when there weren't books about the Holocaust. There was one book “Commandant of Auschwitz” that I read over and over again, but there weren't books and movies. There are today, then there weren't. So where did I get this fixation? I had been studying German for one week in language lab. And after one week in of learning German, I woke up one morning just shocked.
I had a dream in fluent German and everybody else in the dream was speaking fluent German. Where did that come from? I had no concept of reincarnation except as a joke, people being born as reborn as animals. I couldn't figure it out. But then I went to India for my junior year of college, for college I was at Brandeis. And my junior year I studied in the university in India, got credit for it. And where I learned in India, of course everybody believes in reincarnation, including all my college professors. All the intellectuals just take reincarnation is a given.
Schopenhauer wrote (this was what 18th century), that Europe is the only place in the world where people think that when they came to this lifetime, that it's the first time. Otherwise it's the only place in the world that has that strange idea. So anyway, on the way back from India, I had a flashback in Vienna and that made it clear to me that this is too weird. The only way I could explain myself to myself was through the lens of reincarnation.
Adam Jacobs: So just to clarify, when you had your initial dream and you said it was in German. You were not fluent in German, did you understand what was taking place? Did you understand German while the dream was unfolding?
Sara Rigler: I guess I did. I was a character in the dream and I was interacting, but when I woke up in the morning, I remembered the scene. It was in an office, but in the morning, I didn't know what had transpired.
Adam Jacobs: And was the nature of that flashback that you had in Vienna, was it positive, negative?
Sara Rigler: Oh, very, very frightening. Very frightening. I was a 21 year old college student, very into cultural anthropology, and I had this book on cultural anthropology. So I had seven hour layover. I wouldn't go to Germany where I could have just gotten a two hour layover between Tel Aviv and Stockholm. No, I wouldn't go to Germany, but I let them book me through Vienna, which was stupid. And I had a seven hour lay layover.
So I decided to go into the city and check out the residential sections. And there in the residential section I was walking down the street and every time I passed a side street, the side street was the trigger. I started to feel scared and then I could hear cat calls, I could hear this group of Aryan youths per chasing me and screaming at me. And I started running as fast as I can. A flashback (for those who don't know it), A flashback is something that people who have post-traumatic stress experience. It's not like a memory. You are re-experiencing the memory and it was very frightening.
Adam Jacobs: And so this sort of launched you, well, it took a little while I understand, until you decided to really pursue understanding this. And I understand that you spent eight years looking into this book, which is a remarkable collection of stories like this, stories that seem unlikely to be coincidental. So why, let me ask you this question. If I was an atheist and I did not believe in a non-material reality, why would I consider taking your book seriously? It's not the product of a scientific study. Why should I consider the possibility that it's real?
Sara Rigler: So I can tell you about the scientific studies that were done by Professor Ian Stevenson, head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia, (and I'd be happy to tell you about that). But for myself, I'll tell you why. I spent eight years deciding to do the research for this book because after keeping this a secret, (of course) I'm an intellectual. I wouldn't talk about this. People would think I was weird.
But about 10 years ago, I was sitting here in my living room and talking to a friend of mine and I revealed my secret that I thought I was a reincarnated soul from the Holocaust. And she said to me, so am I. And she started telling me that she was also a second generation American Jew. Her father was a doctor in Brooklyn, no connection to the Holocaust.
But when she was four years old, her mother would put her to bed and she would look at her pillow and it would look like a scene like a television screen on her pillow. And she saw herself in the back of a truck and people, other women, were collapsing down and suddenly she flew out of the truck and she said, now I'm free.
Well, she had no way to know as a four year old child that the Nazi's first experiment in mass murder was to put people in the back of trucks and pipe the carbon monoxide gas from the motor to the back of the truck. She only discovered that like 20 years later as an adult. So when she told me that, I realized, wait a second, this isn't peculiar to me. And I started asking other friends and they started telling me also stories like that that had no other rational explanation.
I'm going to give you an example of what I mean by no other rational explanation. People started telling me stories and I got in touch with people and asked them their stories. So there's a fellow named Brian Arthur Rich, who was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1977 to a Roman Catholic mother and a Presbyterian father. He didn't know a single Jew when he was growing up. This is Omaha, Nebraska.
And at the age of 21, he started studying metaphysics. And one day he walked into a Barnes and Noble in Columbus, Ohio, and he bought a book that delved into six different kinds of mysticism, including Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism. So in the midst of reading the chapter on Kabbalah, Brian had a dream that was to recur frequently for the next two years, recurring dreams are always significant.
In the dream he saw himself as a religious Jew with a beard and sidelocks, and he was a scribe and he was writing on parchment scrolls in a strange language that he later identified as Hebrew and mysteriously he was drawing tiny crowns on certain letters. And when he would wake up, he would think, that's crazy. Why would anyone put crowns on letters? This was not something that his subconscious mind projected from anything he had been exposed to in this lifetime. Crowns on letters, it's just crazy.
And years later, he would discover that Jewish scribes when copying sacred texts do indeed put crowns on letters. So this is the second part of his dream was a Holocaust scene going into the gas chambers. But how could a person like that, that knew nothing Jewish, didn't know a Jew have a dream where he see himself putting crowns on letters?
If you can't explain something rationally, then you have to look for other explanations. Now if you want want to know the science of the scientific studies that have been done, professor Ian Stevenson, who I said was chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at University of Virginia School of Medicine, he authored 300 scientific papers and 14 books on reincarnation. He started doing research mainly in India and Sri Lanka and Burma where reincarnation is universally accepted.
He did his research with very young children, two to five years of age who spoke about who they had been before. And Professor Stevenson or the researchers that worked for him would interview the children and their parents and note as many details as possible from what the children would say and with specific place names and people's names. And then they would go to that town or village that the child had mentioned, which was usually far away.
The child had never been there in this lifetime. And they'd search for someone who had died who fit the descriptions. And he had a 90% accuracy rate. I mean, they're in these children, these investigations he did, 90% of what the children said about this distant place and other things in the neighborhood and people who lived there turned out to be true. And he published these things which were pretty much ignored by the scientific community because it went against their materialistic vision of the world.
We tend to believe in scientists, but when scientists find evidence that goes against what they believe they simply ignore it. The other extremely impressive example is Dr. Brian Weiss, who was a graduate of Yale. He was chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami. He had a patient who for one year came to him with all kinds of panic attacks and anxiety.
For one year he tried using all the conventional methods of psychiatry on her and she nothing helped. So finally he decided to hypnotize her and thought maybe she'll go back to a childhood trauma that will be the basis of all her symptoms. And instead of going back to her childhood, she went back to a time in the ancient Near East where she was speaking details about herbs she was using to prepare bodies for embalmment.
And in subsequent sessions, she reported other past lives. And even though her symptoms began to dramatically improve with these weekly sessions of hypnosis the past lives, Dr. Weiss was skeptical about her purported past lives until in one of the sessions she channeled messages and told him that he had a child who died as an infant. Nobody knew that. Nobody in the hospital knew, certainly none of his patients knew about this.
And she talked about his infant son and gave a message from his deceased father who he said his name is Avrum. Well, that was Dr. Weiss’s father's Hebrew name that nobody knew. So then he started to believe. But the amazing thing was about was it was that after a few months of this, she was totally cured of the phobias and depression and recurrent nightmares and panic attacks. And Dr. Weiss wrote, I was hesitant to let other people know about these profound experiences because I was afraid I would be considered crazy or weird by colleagues and friends. So this is why you don't hear about it in the science. He finally came out, he finally came out of the closet, went public with it, and his book, Many Lives, Many Masters, became an international bestseller.
Adam Jacobs: So I've read that and I've also read Dr. Jim Tucker's book (who's a disciple of Dr. Stevenson) from the University of Virginia, which I recommend anyone who wants a real scientific basis to explore these ideas, you should check out all of their work, which is meticulously researched. Despite that, I think it probably is quite different for your average person to wrap their heads around this. It's certainly, like you said in Sri Lanka, maybe the most normal thing in the world, but I think in the states and in the western world, it's a pretty foreign idea. The idea that I've been here before.
And your book puts a whole new twist on this, which is that some pretty horrible things took place and now people are being subject to them again, and in some cases repeatedly, what's that all about? Why should people be subject once again, even if it's true that they had some kind of horrific traumatic end in their past life? What's the benefit, in your thinking, of them having to go through it again and again?
Sara Rigler: We don't repeat our lives. And I want to say that it's not normal to remember your past lives according to the Kabbalists, you shouldn't know, there should be a thick wall between lives, but for some people it's more like a thin veil. And that might be for two reasons. One, if you've come back too soon. There should be a long period between lives and people come back. Most of the people in my book came back within 15 years of the Holocaust, so it was too soon. So I had my theories about why we all decided to come back so soon, but I'm not going to go into that. But the other reason is if a person has a traumatic death they can remember their things.
We all come into this world in order to do rectify, we have to rectify things. So that could be a character trait, a character flaw, A person who's dishonest has to learn, to be honest, A person who is anger prone has to learn to deal with their anger in a constructive way without just hurting themselves and others. People who are fearful, there are moral cowards out there. They have to learn to stand up and be courageous and stand up for what is right. There are people who hurt other people and they have to come back and deal with it. So the point of reincarnation is to rectify what you've done wrong in the past lifetime. Now that could be a character flaw or it could be an action.
So I'll tell you about karma and what is really the Jewish concept of reincarnation. Karma means I did something wrong. I stole from somebody. So I've come back in this lifetime and be stolen from. The perspective is not a perspective of I have to rectify it. I have to know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of being stolen from, and therefore I learn my lesson and progress. Karma is a wheel. It just goes round and round and round. The only way to get off it is through moksha— enlightenment. You get enlightened or Nirvana, you can get off the wheel of birth and death. But the Jewish accent is on the idea of I know I learned lessons, now I know how it feels to be stolen from. I know how it feels to be poor.
So in my last lifetime, if I had money and I had no compassion or empathy for the poor. I had to come back this lifetime without money. And now I know how it feels to be poor. And through that process and because the goal is always rectification for every one of us. And that's why it's important for every one of us to see that we're here on the long soul journey. Our greatest of the Kabbalists lived in the 16th century. He said there were no new souls coming into the world at that point. We're all old souls.
Everybody who's listening to this has had previous lives and we've accumulated mistakes, things we've done wrong and now we're back and we can fix them. And the important thing to, that's like that's the goal of life, that's the purpose of life, is to fix. Fix what you came here to fix. Because according to the Kabbalists, the rectified parts of the soul stay up in the higher world. So the only parts that come down are the rectified parts. So that's what we're here for.
Adam Jacobs: That makes a lot of sense. And I think you're in a unique position to teach about the difference between those two approaches. So I thank you for that. And I have a couple more quick questions maybe. And then we have a treat, which is the two people who are also featured in the book are going to join us and we're going to hear their stories as well and then have a little bit of a group discussion about it. And I'm looking forward to that. So how can I know if I am a reincarnation, let's say that I'm convinced by your story and your book and Dr. Tucker and I want to know what happened to me. Is it possible? What could I do to research it? How could it impact my life to know that there is such a thing as reincarnation in this world?
Sara Rigler: You can know about reincarnation without having to know who you were in a past lifetime. If you're interested in doing a past life regression or something, just out of curiosity, forget it. The point is that you've come back, you've been here before and you can any degree of self-awareness and people are not very self-aware. But if you have any degree of self-awareness, then whatever you've come to fix will manifest in this lifetime. You will find that if you find that you're anger prone that, wow, you don't have to know what the terrible things you did in your anger in the past lifetime. Just see, I, I'm angry. I've got to deal with that. If you see that you're a moral coward, then you see that this is something I have to fix. You have to be aware. And without knowing the specifics of your past lifetime, sometimes the people that I interviewed, the people in my book, there were over a hundred stories I interviewed, there were over 450 people who answered my online survey.
And another a hundred people who wrote emails to me. These things, these dreams or flashbacks happen to them. They didn't go out seeking it. There's only this one chapter about past life regressions. But people go for past life regressions usually because they’re troubled, they have a problem that they can't get to the root of. And so there was somebody who was the head of an academy here in Israel who went to a past life regressionist because he had a fear of showers.
So it's very inconvenient. He liked to swim in the ocean, he liked to, but he was afraid of showers. So we went to him and this past life who lives here in Jerusalem, he regressed him. He said thought, okay, let's go back. Maybe he had a trauma as a child in a shower. That's very likely. Sure. So he asked to go back to the beginning of his fear of showers and presto, he was in the gas chambers, of course, which were made up to look like showers.He sees himself on the floor of the gas chamber.
Go up your soul. When you go up your soul, you get a sense you're looking down and you're seeing a whole from a different dimension, a different perspective. And by going up with the soul and seeing that this was not the end with all the deaths in the Holocaust were terrible, terrible chapter endings, but they were not the end of the story for anybody, not the end of the story. Terrible chapter ending, but not the end of the story. So a skilled past life regressionist or therapist can help a person leave the trauma behind. That's the idea.
Adam Jacobs: I mean, that's a beautiful sentiment. And I think the way you said it is really nice. The end, a book can end a chapter on a bad note, but it's the end of the book that really matters. Therefore, I think despite the fact that the book has a lot of upsetting material in it, people who are suffering from holocaust trauma, what could be worse than that? Nonetheless, I think it's an extremely hopeful book. One that says at the very end, things are going to end well. There's a reason why everything is happening. And even the worst things have their answers.
So let's hear from a couple more people who are featured in your book. I'd like to introduce Audrey Cohen and Glen Hill, or are amongst the many amazing stories that exist in the book, which I again recommend everyone should really go out and get and read and consider. And there's nothing wrong with being totally skeptical. I think that everybody here was skeptical at one point in their journey. But let's take a moment. And Audrey, could you please tell us a little bit about your story and how you found your way to Sarah and connected with her on this topic?
Audrey Cohen: How I found my way to Sarah is I was at my daughter's house. She had a friend over and she said, ma, I think that my friend would really like to hear your story about the Holocaust. I said, really? She said, yeah, tell her. I was like, okay. It's not like something my daughters would say. So I said, okay. So I told her my story. She told Sarah, I never met Sarah. And then next thing I know, I'm here.
Okay, so my story actually began more than 30 years ago at a Hanukkah party. My children were little, my brother was there, his children were little, and my mother was there and my sister was there, and it was at my home, and it was a beautiful Hanukkah party. And my brother and I, best friends, best friends, and he sat down at the piano, which was really strange because he never played piano.
So he sat down at the piano and he burst out into tears. Now here I was 30 years old, best friends with him forever. I have never seen him cry. He sat down and he was sobbing. He couldn't catch his breath. I said to him, what's going on? And everybody crowded around him, everybody, his wife, his children, my children, my mother, my sister, and I couldn't anymore because I can't, crowds, I just can't do. So I went up the steps so I could see down below what's going on, what's happening? And he just said, I can't take it anymore. There, everybody says, what can't you take? He said, he takes a deep breath and he lets it out. He says, every night my entire life, I have a horrible nightmare. The same nightmare over and over again. Now at this point, he's 30, right? How is he having a nightmare?
For 30 years, I shared I was a wall to our bedroom. I was on the other side. I would know if he was having a nightmare. No, I didn't know. So my mother said, tell us us, maybe if you tell us something will happen. So he said, it's too horrible, too horrible. Tell us everybody. Everybody forced him. And he said, okay, I'll tell you. I'm a little boy. And I'm in this building, it's a, it's like apartment buildings outside, made of wood. And my parents are fighting. They're arguing. My father says, we have to leave, we have to leave now. And my mother says, no, not leaving. We're not leaving. It's not happening. I had my children in this house, my children's bar mitzvas will be in this house. Their weddings will be in this house. We're not leaving. And it was, they never fought.
This was the only thing they ever fought over. This is what he said. So the father made a compromise. He said, all right, I'll, I'll make hiding places for the children. And he showed my brother in his dream underneath the stove, I'm going to make a hole. If something happens, you go under here. If not, you can get to the bedroom. You hide in the bed springs at the bottom of the bed. And so this was the plan under the oven or the, well, all of a sudden, in my brother's nightmare, every night there's a pounding at the door. The door opens and his father doesn't have a chance to get him under the stove. He doesn't have a chance to get him under the bed. So he throws him in the closet and closes it just a little. And the Nazis came in and they were screaming and screaming and then no screaming.
And then the Nazis. He hears his mother screaming blood curdling, screaming, then nothing, his father, nothing. And then he hears the footsteps. The oven gets lifted and put back, the bed gets lifted and put back the door to the closet, gets swung open, and the hand goes, brush it around, and the door closes, but not all the way. And the footsteps leave. And he hears more screaming in the distance and more screaming. And after a while, there's footsteps again. And they go to the stove, lift the stove, lift the bed, and then go to the closet. And the hand is coming in and he can hardly breathe. He's so scared. And the hand grabs him and puts the hand over his mouth and over his nose and his eyes, and he can't breathe. And he's being dragged out of the closet. And he goes past his father who is dead on the floor, and his mother who's dead on the floor.
And he gets pulled down the steps and all of a sudden he gets thrown into this crowd of people. And that's when he wakes up every night in a cold sweat and he can hardly breathe. And I'm on the steps, and I'm listening to this, and everybody, there's silence in my house. And I look at him and I say, Jay, do you know why? Do you know wake up right there? He said, no, I have no idea. I said, every single night of my entire life on the other side of the wall from you, I'm having the same nightmare. I'm a little boy. I'm in the forest. I figured out a way out of the village, somebody's giving me challahs. And they said to me, you know, better get back fast. There's trouble in your village. And I knew right away, it's the soldiers. So I run and I dropped one of the challahs, one of the breads, braided breads for the Sabbath.
And I'm running and I'm running. And when I get closer, there's no soldiers, they're not anywhere. It's not even hard to get back in. And I walk up the steps and all the doors are open. I don't look, don't look. And when I get to my door there, I see my father is dead on the floor. And my mother who was pregnant, was stabbed in the stomach and dead on the floor. And I, where's my twin? Where is my twin? And I'm looking for him. And I go and I look under the stove and I look under the bed. These were our plans with his that said these were plans and I can't find him. And I open up the closet, maybe he's in here and I find him and I'm begging him, come out, please come out. I can get us out of here.
And he won't come. He's so afraid I have to pull him, but he's my weight. I'm pulling my own dead weight. I have my hands over his eyes because God forbid he should see my mother. He, God forbid, he should see our father. And I have to drag him past. And I know my hand slips when we get there. And I know he saw he can't move it. He just can't move. He's frozen with fear. I get him down the steps. I'm begging him, please come with me. But at this point, it's too late. And the soldiers get us and they bring us over to this pit that we've been digging every single day here, line up everybody. And they just start shooting. And I fall in two bodies above me. He's there. I am not shot. He's shot, but he's not dead. And that's where I wake up every night now since that night that we told us at the Hanukkah party, and we hugged and we cried. Neither one of us have ever had the dream again.
Adam Jacobs: Well, that is a remarkable story. I have to admit that that gave me chills as you were telling it. I did read it in the book and found it remarkable then. But just Audrey, just to clarify, for all those watching you and your brother, unbeknownst to both of you, were having two parts, two camera angles on the same dream. That is fairly remarkable. Certainly hard to explain exactly how that would've come about.
Audrey Cohen: Many times he would come into my room after I would have a nightmare, and he would sit there and we would play pinball or we would play whatever rummy cue, whatever it was, rummy 500, just to pass the hours until the sun came up. Neither one of us talking about the nightmare, neither one of us. And whenever I would sign my letters to him in my I, oh, would always write him letters, whenever I would sign my letters, it would always be, I'll love you for a thousand lifetimes. I never signed that to anybody.
Adam Jacobs: Beautiful, it’s a beautiful story. I mean, it's terrible. Beautiful, if you know what I'm saying. Well Glen, you come from a different background than the other folks here. And in certain ways, I think that makes your story even more remarkable because I think that it's natural for the skeptic to be listening to all these stories and searching for ways in which they could be coincidence or ways in which somehow, you know, watch Schindler's List or you watch Escape from Sobibor and your overactive minds took over and you know, invented something. But maybe you could share just a moment about your background and how you came to this another remarkable episode.
Glenn Hill: Well, I had no Jewish connections in my life that I had any clue to. I was born in 1953 in California, Sacramento Methodist family. Never knew anything about the Holocaust. I don't think I knew any Jews in my schools growing up. I think maybe there was one that I vaguely was aware of by the time I was in high school. But I started reading everything I could about the Holocaust in fourth grade in about 1961, and was obsessed with that and read things then that are so horrible I couldn't read now. And so it's very strange, a very strange beginning to it. And I actually am not sure if I recall how I came across Sarah's request for stories mean this was, my experiences started about 33 years ago in 1999. And shall I tell how it started? September 21st, 1999, I was with my wife in the car and was having, I had had an asthma type of asthma for years that was really battling me.
And I tried using a pocket inhaler. I couldn't get in. I said, I think I need my Epipen. She said, well, I better rush you to the hospital if you need that. And that was the last thing I was able to say for two days. She rushed me to the hospital and nobody saw us pull up. I pulled in and the nurses saw me and their faces were totally shocked because apparently I had 0.05 blood oxygen level, which is not even remotely possible. I talked to the ER doctors two weeks later and they said, we saw you walk in, but we still don't believe it. It's impossible. So they pumped me full of everything they could. And about 20 minutes later, after fighting and struggling, I coded and was dead for about five minutes. Unbeknownst to me, this was Yom Kippur. And I spent the next 19 hours on life support and another day in respiratory and went home and was basically felt like I was half floating, barely out of my body.
I had a classic near-death experience. That's another story. But about two weeks later, I had a spontaneous flashback that was totally terrifying. I saw people dressed all in, men, dressed all in black. They bashed the door of my home in and stormed in and started beating me. And there were two little girls screaming and sorry. It was absolutely terrifying. And I was dragged out the door and thrown against a hillside in a ravine shot with rifle fire in my chest. And then I guess their leader walked up in a pistol, shot to my forehead and I was gone. And this was an instant flash that encompassed that. And I knew I was an artist avant garde. And I was Jewish from a family that lived, this was the Italian Riviera. I knew it was somewhere near Portofino, a beautiful house over overlooking the ocean.
And I had been obsessed all my life with architecture of that style, Mediterranean kind of Spanish, and had bought many books. I was trying to find a certain look. And after this experience, I realized I was trying to recreate what was lost because was a beautiful, wealthy home. And I, first, I'll say I've always been very skeptical when people said they had been Cleopatra or crazy things in the sixties. I laughed, this is really silly. And having had this experience, several experiences, the near death, past life recall, I'm still skeptical except that it occurred to me and is very real. And what I realized is these were black shirt fascists, and it was 1942. I knew my name, I knew a lot about this. My first name was Alberto, and the last name, I'm not totally sure, maybe Carnegie, something like that. And I was a painter and I had paid no attention to being Jewish.
My wife was not Jewish. Now, just to backtrack a bit, yes, I read everything I could on the Holocaust in the 1960s third, fourth, fifth, sixth grade. There were no movies. There was really no common knowledge about this. And later in high school, I took German, even though I had had Spanish in grammar school, and I hated German, I did not like my teacher. I don't know, this was totally, I should have taken Spanish. It made no sense at all. And I did a paper on art under the Nazis and how they suppressed and did what they did. And so that was totally weird.
So this experience was 1999. My wife was walking on a narrow trail. My wife in this lifetime above a ravine on the rogue river, a very sharp cliff, she looked down and I told her about my experience, and she suddenly realized that she had been my wife in that lifetime. And she recalled that our children had been taken away and I was dead. And that she had jumped off a cliff and committed suicide and scared the hell out of her because there she is on this cliff edge. And we've come to realize, and we're still skeptical, but we don't, you can't fight it when something like this happens. That she was my life. My wife then and my wife in this lifetime, we first met, we got engaged after three weeks and married three months later, 36 years ago.
And I always had a great anger toward anybody. I would say were bullies in grammar school and so on and outside in the world, not so much Nazis but bullies, which I would say now, like fascists and I, after all this occurred to me, I started researching in 1942 Italy. These weren't Nazis, these were Italian fascists. They killed me. Must have really pissed off the powers that be to have this happen.
Adam Jacobs: Thank you for sharing another remarkable story. Again, if you read the book, you're going to see all kinds of them. But I want to share with all three of you an emotion that I'm having in being the only person here who did not have any experience anything remotely along these lines, which I wasn't expecting to have. And that is a kind of jealousy. I yeah, I know it's weird. I know it's weird. Why would I want to have some horrible memories stuck in my head?
But at the same time, I feel like you have been given access to a visceral understanding of something that is extremely important and a potentially fundamental aspect of existence itself. And as you were all speaking, I was just thinking that there's a way in which this seems like strikes me as a gift. And the question I'd like, I have two questions for you each, and I'm just opening the floor here. But if you had it all to do again, and you would not have to go through any of this and not have to have these experiences, what would you have chosen? Would you rather have the normal lives or would you pick once again to go through these remembrances? Anybody?
Glenn Hill: Well, I, I'll say first of all, the near-death experience I had was an incredible experience of classic near-death into the light, ecstasy, joy. I had somebody who was a total skeptic say to me, well, that was just your brain firing off chemicals. I said, well, it very well could have been, and I had a great time if that's what it was. But how do you explain that I was able to walk in to the ER with 0.05 blood level and had a grand mal seizure when I coded I shouldn't be here.
And I mean, I should not have survived that at all. And he said, well, good point. So that was a gift. My wife at the time told me, if I die again, she will kill me and had me revived and kill me again. But this whole thing led me into discovering that unbeknownst to myself, my mother was seven generations direct female descent from a Sephardic family that settled in early Virginia and that I was actually Jewish by birth. And I've since reconnected.
Oh, yes. I'm sorry. My mother's family came originally from Spain, Portugal, Sicily, Venice. They went through the court of Henry the 8th. I've traced the whole family out and came to early Virginia. Some of them were investors in Jamestown. One of my ancestors was a nine year old boy who settled in Jamestown in 1609 and was Jewish. So yes, so Sephardic being from Spain. But so this led me to be able to reconnect and I love it and it's a great connection.
I did have one hypnosis from a practitioner who only works on healing these experiences, she will not delve further into your remembrance. And she took me back from the vantage point of being separated from the experience and it took away a lot of the trauma to have that, to see the various people that took part in this and just, it was remarkable. And so that is something that I think could be helpful for anybody who's had this and still feels a trauma.
Adam Jacobs: Amazing. Sarah, Audrey,
Audrey Cohen: When I was lying in my dream in the bodies with my brother above me, separated by two bodies, I remember saying to him, I'll find you. I will find you no matter what it takes. So if it took all those years of nightmares, doesn't matter. I found them
Adam Jacobs: Beautiful. Wow.
Sara Rigler: Well, I'm very glad. I'm very glad that I had these experiences because I think that there are tens of thousands of reincarnated souls of the Holocaust walking around. I think that the people listening to this program, if you are not a reincarnated soul from the Holocaust, somebody very well is and they're just not telling you. I got an amazing letter. After my book came out, I got a letter from a doctor who told me that she read my book. And in the book there's one of the vignettes in the book is by somebody named Dr. Sarah Levy, who is a neuroscientist who has published in peer review journals and who has had recurring nightmares. She let me use her name. Most people did not let me use their name. People are very scared to be seen as weird, but she let me use her name.
She had a dream of Nazis coming, knocking down the door. The dream wasn't so fantastic, but anyway, this doctor write writes to me after she reads my book, she said she really related to the book because all her life she has had recurring dreams of the Holocaust. And she was most amazed when she read about Dr. Sarah Levy because Dr. Sarah Levy is one of her closest and oldest friends. And she didn't know until she read it in my book that she was also having nightmares of the Holocaust. They were such close friends, but they had never told each other just like Audrey and her brother. So after she read Dr. Sarah’s story in my book, she called her and they talked and it turned out they compared notes. They were having the same dream, so like Audrey and her brother, but very similar.
And also the thing that was weird is that she said that when she lived in Atlanta at one point, she and her husband built their own house and she architect build a secret hiding place under the stairs. Just she and her husband knew about it when she talked to her good friend Sarah, Dr. Sarah Levy, turned out that Sarah Levy admitted that when they had built their house somewhere else, they had had the architect put a secret hide in place under the stairs. So I think that there are, and neither of these women have ever revealed this stuff to each other until one of them did in my book. So I think there are tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of souls from the Holocaust.
And I think they need to come out of the closet. And I need and think, because I'm a writer and because I've been on this spiritual path for 50 years, since my first trip to India in 1968, 69, I was there for a year. I think I was uniquely positioned to be able to reveal this phenomenon and take it out of, of when things are kept in the dark of your subconscious, they can do a lot of harm and a lot of damage sometimes just being able, just like it happened with Audrey and her brother, they told the dream out loud and the dream stopped after a whole lifetime of having the dream. So yeah, I'm very grateful that I've been put in a position for my experiences that I can get this phenomenon into public awareness so that people can come out of the closet and say, stop feeling and talk about it.
Because even just the talking about it mean, this is one of the questions I deal with in my book is consciousness alone. Sufficient conscious. Once you're aware that what it was, most of these people had dreams as young children. They didn't even know where one person told me he was having a dream. He was very, very young. He was born in 1943 in New York to American parents, but he had this dream that was a scene that took place. I know because Holocaust history, 1939, the Nazis entered Poland. And this is the kind of thing that would've happened in Poland in 1939.
He was born in America in 1943, but he said he saw these soldiers and they had an armband on their arm and it had this strange insignia with a pinwheel with the ends turned back as a child. He didn't even know the word swastika. So the children have these dreams and they don't know what they're seeing. They don't have any reference points. And then to read my book and realize, well, so I'm not the only one had so many people to say to me, I thought I was the only one. So now to let people come out and talk about it, I think is going to be very therapeutic for the whole generation.
Adam Jacobs: Well, I really want to sincerely thank all of you for having this conversation and for being so open about these stories. I know that a lot of people didn't want to come out in the open as you say, that you encourage them to come out of the closet. I do encourage, once again, people to check out the books. I've Been Here Before: when Souls of the Holocaust Return. I've read it. It's gripping, wonderful work and thank you so much.
Sara Rigler: Oh, I have good news. Just a few days ago, the book came out as an ebook on Amazon, so people can get it as an ebook on Amazon too.
Adam Jacobs: And if they want to be in touch with you, they and share their stories with you directly. How should they do that?
Sara Rigler: Go on my website sarah r.com. sararigler.com. And right in the middle of the page, the middle of the homepage, there's a thing about my survey about the public holocaust and there's this link for the survey and they just click on the link and they can, and if they put their email address at the bottom end of the survey, then I can be in touch with them.
Audrey Cohen: Okay, rabbi, I want to encourage people just to follow their intuition because the one last piece that I didn't tell you yet is that 15 years ago I had a need to go onto the internet. They have our chat rooms. I wanted to find other grandmothers. I don't know why, other grandmothers, whatever, all over the world, all religions, all different types of grandmothers. There were hundreds. I connected with one, this one woman, she was a drummer. We talked for a while and then she, all of a sudden after we were talking for around two weeks, she said to me, can I tell you something? I'm really tired. I don't sleep at night. I said, why? She goes a nightmare. I said, tell me the nightmare. She said, I was the son of a baker. This was the boy. She's a woman now. But this was the man.
Sara Rigler: This was the boy Wow. The baker, the beginning of the dream where handing you the challah before he said this trouble in the village. Wow, that's that's amazing.
Audrey Cohen: Every week he brought me the challah. Every week I was there and that one week he said, you got to get back. And he said, I don't. Whatever happened. I said, I'll tell you.
Adam Jacobs: Well, I think this is a documentary material. Maybe we should start talking about that instead because we've unfortunately come to the end of our time for this session. Fascinating accounts all around. I sincerely thank you for your time. Please take a moment and subscribe to our YouTube channel and stay abreast of all the amazing stuff we have going on here and the continued Beyond belief programs that are coming up. And thank you so much for being here and participating. Thank you all.