Karl Allmenroder’s memories

My earliest memories were in the form of homesickness, for a place and family that I had never seen.  I was obsessed with the thoughts of returning to Germany and to my home.   This yearning took over my life for a while.    With these memories came raw emotions and unresolved issues.   Though I knew my name and that of family members, and I recalled my life as a German Pilot in WW1, it took finding a photograph to connect the information for me.


The trigger came from my favorite photograph of us in Jasta 11, taken April 23rd 1917 in front of an Albatross D111, Manfred in the cockpit, Lothar on the ground.  After seeing this photograph I knew I had found my friends again.  This process has been healing

 Just as there is much in this life that gets lost in our imperfect memory systems, so it is with previous lives.   It takes a trigger to facilitate recall.   Past life memories are often implanted by strong emotions or scars in our souls.  Music, photographs, etc, can provide triggers, just as they do in this life.  There is no mistaking a past life memory it is powerful and tangible.

Although reincarnation is not wholly understood in our culture, in many cultures it is. Dreams would also be difficult to comprehend if they were not a universally accepted phenomenon.

With knowledge of the past comes insight into a larger view of life.  Everything is connected, there are no mistakes only lessons.   Traumatic events take time to heal.  Trust the process of life- everything has its own purpose, and its own timing.

Memories for me come in waves as I heal the scars of the past. It is part of my spiritual growth process.

Wars, killing, hatred, fear .  These emotions lay down scars that can take lifetimes to heal.  War is brutal.  Anger creates more anger, and fear creates more fear.   Lets find another way…  Lets learn from the mistakes of the past.   Society has so much to learn about peace.   In war there are no victors only victims.  Believe it from those who know.

I grew up with the wonder of flight.   I learn all I can.  In 1916 I join our proud German airmen, dominating European skies.   We stand resolute, brave, and ready to fight.   Our planes are the most modern. We know our mission.   We are young and well trained. Death never seems a reality.   Soaring above ground troops like Gods, is our world.  The pride and splendor of flying is our gold, and belief in our immortality our shields.  We form a formidable force.  We are proud German Airmen.

My parents encourage me.   All Germanys eyes are on us.  We have honor among us.

I come face to face with my nations enemies.   They come at me, intent on killing.   I use all my skills.  I see a plane alone.   I have speed to match my daring.   I see his eyes and he sees mine.  I watch as he flies and falls, blazing to the ground.  Through his eyes I see a different view.   I see another victim now, caught in the dragging, crushing jaws of war.  I am your enemy and you are mine, yet I do not hate you  I do not see you, only who you are and what you know.   Because of me you can never return home.   Because of me your future is lost.

I see other planes like yours. They draw closer for the kill.   I wait and watch.  I hear bullets strike my plane.   I know it is my time now.  I wait for you, as you waited for me.  I need to fly again, my friend.  So I wait, so we can both be free.

People felt responsible for each other, and social obligations were strong.   Women were protected by men.  Fathers and sons had moral obligations to the family that were taken extremely seriously.   People saw less change in their lives then than we see now.  Values were those of our parents.   Honor was the glue that formed societies.

In Germany an individuals needs were less important than those of the country.   This was accepted without too much thought.  The Germans had hopes for a leading role in Europe after the war.   They believed they could create a better future for everyone.

This poem was written for Karl-and was published in Germany by his family in 1927. (Der Bergische Kampffleiger)

“An eagle, you abruptly rose to radiant heights:
Your young boy’s heart bade you reach for accolades
As otherwise only patient years make ripe,
For laurel wreaths which never fade.

And lo! with strong hands these laurels you seized,
For brief summer hours bore them with pride
Already round the young victor’s brow they wreathed.
Fate then whispered: You must die-

And with fresh garlands depart forever.
You gave your young and precious life
For us and for the fatherland we treasure.
Thus falls a meteor with radiance bright!

In the German skies, his light endures;
And our children and their heirs,
So long as German hearts still beat on earth,
Eyes bright with love will see it there.”

By Arnold Emil Allmenroder-

Translated by Jan Hayzlett (Over The Front magazine) -fall 1997