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When I Was Someone Else

The Incredible True Story of Past Life Connection

Published by Park Street Press
Distributed by Simon & Schuster
LIST PRICE $24.99

A journalist’s profound investigation into the reality behind an intense waking vision and the search for healing after death

• Details the author’s vivid waking vision of a dying German soldier in World War II and how he discovered the soldier was a real person, including his research into German military archives and meeting the man’s surviving family members

• Explores synchronicities, reincarnation, and communication across the veil between life and death

• Reveals how the author helped the dead soldier find forgiveness and healing

While on a spiritual retreat in Peru, journalist Stéphane Allix experienced a vivid waking vision of a soldier dying on a snowy battlefield, followed by scenes from the soldier’s earlier life. He also clearly saw the man’s name, Alexander Herrmann, and felt a disturbing sense of closeness with the soldier.

Obsessed by the power of this extremely real vision, Allix began an intensive investigation that revealed this individual had actually existed: a German soldier who died in World War II during the 1941 Russian campaign. As he began retracing Herrmann’s past, he found that the other images accompanying the battle scene were also of people who had truly existed and were close to the man who died. Diving deep into German military archives, meeting the man’s surviving family members, and following his own intuitive hunches, the author also discovered that the soldier was part of the Waffen S.S., the infamous Totenkopf Brigade, and his investigation broadened to explore what drove Herrmann to become part of such an organization.

While Allix’s initial impression is that this German soldier was a past life, as he progresses in his rigorous investigation and his decoding of the events surrounding it, he realizes that it was actually his own work with the paranormal and his unresolved feelings over the death of his brother and his father that made him particularly sensitive to the veil between life and death, culminating in the soul of this dead soldier coming to him in search of forgiveness and healing. Allix realizes that his mission is not to bring about the rebirth of this person but to heal him--and the victims of his ignominious actions during the war.

Offering a fascinating exploration of visions, synchronicities, reincarnation, and the connections between the spiritual and physical planes, When I Was Someone Else shares a powerful message of healing after death along with the profound epiphany that light needs darkness to be perceived.

From Chapter 3. The Encounter

I’m on retreat in Peru and I have the intuition that I need to be still, stop moving and listen to my deepest feelings. I stretch out on my little wooden bed and let myself fall into reverie. I’m lying down with my eyes closed and my mind begins to wander. At the beginning I don’t quite know what to do and then I imagine that I’m an eagle, flying. Suddenly I think of my brother Thomas as well as my father and I find myself on a familiar path facing them. Thomas is standing and with a hand gesture he designates the space in front of us. I don’t understand. Is there a message? What is he showing me? Gradually, I’m flying again. I visualize in my thoughts the valley where I am, as if my point of view were that of a bird, one of the eagles that are certainly at this very moment above me. I can make out my little hut from high up, then I glide toward the river, as if my spirit were flying over it at a good height.

At this moment I am quite aware that I am the one imagining this vision. And then something unexpected happens. An image surprises me and imposes itself very precisely. I’m still flying above the river but suddenly I’m observing men moving forward - people walking in the river. From this height they are little black dots. Are they Indians who used to live in this forest? Conquistadors? As I descend toward the ground the vegetation disappears, the river disappears giving way to a landscape that is uniformly white, as if covered in snow. I’m at their level now, on the ground. It’s very surprising: I see an assault tank and men advancing, protected behind it. They are soldiers. They’re German. It’s war. They’re advancing, sheltering behind the tank. What is totally strange is that I am one of them. An SS officer. I see a face yelling at me. I’m in a demolished village and I’m going to die, wounded in the throat from the burst of a shell that has severed my jugular. I die.

I am enthralled and stunned by the intensity of what is taking place.

I am lying down with my eyes closed but completely awake and conscious, on a pallet in Peru, and in the same moment my mind has been catapulted into another time, another place. Suddenly I know this man’s name. His first name, Alexander, has just come to me out of nowhere and imprints itself on me. I can’t make out his face very well, just that he has light brown hair, almost blond that is cut very short on the sides and at the nape of the neck, but longer on top. I see him walking in this scene of desolation strewn with cadavers. Everything is white as if covered by plaster dust, or snow. The silhouettes are black. Faces screaming. My throat is dry. He’s wearing a long dark coat. He is tall, thin but well built, his muscles finely chiseled. The scene of his death repeats.

This is too incredible, too powerful. It cannot be possible… I ask for an element that I could verify afterwards, and I see appear what seems to be an identity card written in Gothic script. I can make out “Herman” where the family name is written. He’s called Herman, Alexander Herman. In the same way that I knew that his first name was Alexander, I know what his officer rank is. “Obersturmführer” sprang into my mind. And me who doesn’t speak one word of German. I am assailed by several other visions -like scenes of life that come crashing in behind my closed eyes. Some scenes of his civilian life. I see a playful little girl - blond, smiling, joyful. She must be between two and three years old. He is with her. Is she his daughter? And then once again death, screaming faces and suddenly he is near a lake in the countryside and it is summer. He has his shirt off and another man is lying on his stomach beside him - a man a little older whose face I can make out quite clearly. There is a strong connection between them. Once again, a ruined town or village and the feeling that it’s named Bagneux or Bayeux - actually neither of those two names but a name like that. And then the little girl is there again in the countryside scene in the company of Alexander and this other man. After that, I see Alexander in Paris, on the upper part of Gay-Lussac Street in the 5th arrondissement. He turns around and looks at me with a certain mischievousness in his eyes, as if he’s amused by my astonishment. I can see his face then quite distinctly. Then I see him once again collapsing, blood spurting from his throat, pouring over his collar and out onto the ground. He holds his neck. His life is slipping away. His look flickers out. The white dust covers him. The earth is pulverized by explosions that throw out snow and fire, fury and cold. He is dead. He is me. His body is my body. When the vision ends a half hour has gone by and I am blown away. The experience is totally unexpected, incomprehensible, and stunningly powerful. Did I imagine all that? But why? Who is this man? What just happened? Later in the day, and the next day, the images of this German man do not fade. He appeared out of the depths of darkness, he penetrated into my reality, and he’s still there as if he were living in me. Once again I see the sinister landscape, the death, the violence, his look… but not for one second do I imagine the explosion that was coming after my return to France. When I discover that this man really existed.

Stéphane Allix is a journalist, former war correspondent, and founder of the Institute for Research on Extraordinary Experiences (INREES). He is the author of The Test: Incredible Proof of the Afterlife and the writer and director of the French television series Extraordinary Investigations (Enquêtes extraordinaires). He lives in France.

“Reads like a compelling screenplay for a paranormal thriller. Except this is not fiction. It’s Stéphane Allix’s true life experience, which in many ways reveals more about the deep and mysterious nature of reality than what you would find in any book of scientific speculation. An exciting, even hair-raising, story.”

– Dean Rasdin, PH.D., chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and author of Real Magic

“Stéphane Allix has crafted a brilliantly riveting and intensely moving narrative that sheds new light on the nature of our identity and links between human lives. Beginning with an arresting and traumatic dream reliving the death of an SS officer in the Russian campaign, Stéphane telepathically receives the name Alexander Herrmann and is astonished to find that he really existed, discovering a detailed 80-page dossier of his life. His epic inner and outer journey reveals the stunning accuracy of his dream sequence while at the same time vividly re-creating the horrors of the Russian campaign. His deep humanity, moral courage, and penetrating insight shines out from this quite remarkable book with its message of ultimate redemption through the grit of our common suffering and persistent determination. I cannot recommend this book too highly.”

– David Lorimer, editor of Paradigm Explorer and program director at the Scientific and Medical Networ

“Fascinating book. Stéphane Allix’s emotional research into the life and death of Alexander--although he does not share any of his ideas and beliefs--allowed him to let go of his own past that had always pursued him. This wonderful, spiritual, and even sometimes mind-blowing book may help the open-minded reader to accept the possibility of reincarnation. Highly recommended.”

– Pim van Lommel, M.D., author of Consciousness Beyond Life

“This riveting book will challenge you to rethink your ideas about who you are and your interconnections with other people. Allix’s dramatic journey offers profound evidence of healing of psychological wounds through acknowledgment of both light and dark.”

– Bruce Greyson, M.D., Carlson Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry & Neurobehavioral Sciences, University

“A riveting detective story, a thriller, a harrowing journey back into the darkest days of World War II, and, most of all, the author’s relentless quest for self-discovery and to fathom the nature of his identity. An absolutely stunning, unforgettable book. Five stars and more!”

– Kenneth Ring, Ph.D., coauthor of Lessons from the Light

“In his extraordinary investigation, Stéphane Allix offers probably the strongest support for a case of reincarnation in an adult person. A remarkable and important book that can change the reader’s view of reality. Must-read!”

– Stanislav Grof, M.D., author of The Ultimate Journey

When I Was Someone Else is both an exciting detective story and an important spiritual exploration.”

– Jim B. Tucker, M.D., author of Before: Children’s Memories of Previous Lives

“The forensic details of Stéphane Allix’s search for the SS officer he suspects he was in a former life, combined with how this search affected him at every turn, creates a fascinating study of the intermingling of the past and present in our lives. A welcome addition to the growing literature on reincarnation.”

– Christopher Bache, Ph.D., author of Lifecycles and LSD and the Mind of the Universe

"The final outcome of this existential odyssey is healing, even redemption, a recovery of conscience and humanity. Collectively, this process is far from complete, but I can’t recommend this book too highly as an alchemical emergence of forgiveness from guilt, sensitivity from callousness and light from darkness."

– Paradigm Explorer Journal