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Audley ; audleytravel. At the blustery crag-tip of Northland, where Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean collide, a gnarled pohutukawa tree clings to the cliff-face — and sends souls down into the underworld Discover the World ; discover-the-world. Shimmering at an altitude of around 3,m, vast Lake Titicaca was central to the birth of the Inca civilisation. Today you can sail across to the car-free island to walk the flagstoned paths, visit temple ruins, stay at a posada and soak up the stirring snowcapped-Andes views.

Journey Latin America ; journeylatinamerica. Avebury is dotted with oddities: a cutesy village sliced by a stone circle; a mysterious sanctuary of concentric rings; a long barrow dating to BC; the largest man-made mound in Europe. No one knows exactly what it was all for. Probably it was a key Neolithic ceremonial site, where people came to perform rituals and connect with seasons and spirits. Such connection is still possible: hire dowsing rods to search for supposed ley lines, touch the mighty sarsens or head to the manor for a soul-lifting cream tea.

Departure September 7 Andante Travels ; andantetravels. Devotees of multiple religions make the stiff climb to worship at this holy heel, which — depending on your faith — might be the mark of Buddha, Shiva, Adam or Saint Thomas. Pilgrim trails lead up the 2,m mountain via tea estates, shrines, steep steps, long drops and wildlife-filled forest.

Make the ascent to see both the devotees making offerings and the spectacular highlands spread out below. Departures April-December On The Go Tours ; onthegotours. Soaring 6,m high in the wilds of western Tibet, Kailash is more than a mountain. The ultimate test is to perform a kora, a circular pilgrimage around the mountain, roughly 52km long and strewn with yaks, prayer flags and literally breathtaking views.

Buddhists believe one kora absolves the bad karma of one lifetime, while koras will lead to full enlightenment. Departure September 8 Mountain Kingdoms ; mountainkingdoms. The wooden doors have since been replaced by heavy metal ones, but the church is open for services, concerts and tours. Departures May-November Viking River Cruises ; vikingrivercruises. Science says that almost 8, years ago, Mount Mazama blew its top and the deep hole left behind flooded, becoming Crater Lake.

Whichever origin story you prefer, the resultant landscape is legendary. Or sail to Wizard Island, a cinder cone formed during the ancient eruption — or, maybe, the head of Llao himself. The American Road Trip Company ; theamericanroadtripcompany. We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. Visit our adblocking instructions page. Telegraph Travel Lists. We've noticed you're adblocking. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on the Vichy regime. It must have been a torment to her, trying to square what she learned with her memories of her father.

How could he have been both the man she knew and the monster history suggested? Family history is an uneasy topic for a German-American. A sense of guilt by association hangs in the air, even for people of my generation. To be German, it seems, is still to be one part Nazi. In my case, that part is my grandfather. When I first arrived in Germany, the sheer quantity of research material—the inexhaustibility of the past—seemed overwhelming. The two world wars had papered the Continent with scraps of their history, scattered across hundreds of archives in Germany alone.

Seventy miles of files in the Bundesarchiv, in Berlin; nearly a hundred miles of files and microfiche in the Stasi archives, across town; thirty million documents in the Holocaust archives in Bad Arolsen—letters, diaries, and reams of statistics, maps, blueprints, and bills of lading. It was hard to know where to start.

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Yet wherever I went the archives were full of people. They tottered past in the reading rooms, arms piled with leather-bound volumes, or sat hunched over handwritten documents, the pages yellowed by the acid in their fibres. At the latter, the wait time had grown from six months to fifteen months within two years. They rarely liked what they found: an uncle in the Gestapo, another in the Waffen S.

A noted architect and archeologist, Schleif had tried to steer clear of politics at first. But then he came under the patronage of Heinrich Himmler, the supreme mythmaker of the Nazi Party. Buried inside were architectural drawings for underground munitions plants, to be built by concentration-camp inmates. By the time Karin was in school, that meant field trips to Verdun and Dachau. It meant hour after hour in darkened classrooms with clattering projectors, watching cities burn and grave sites filled with corpses. And, of course, they did die, in time.

But then a strange thing happened. They needed to hear those terrible old stories after all, and the last eyewitnesses were passing away. But their children—too young to have fought or to understand the fighting but old enough to have been traumatized by it—were still alive by the million. The drawing room in Berlin was one place where they told their stories.

Hellinger worked for sixteen years as a missionary in South Africa, where he became fascinated by Zulu ancestor worship—the belief that the spirits of the dead guide the living and must be consulted through the intercession of a sangoma , or diviner. When Hellinger returned to Europe in , at the age of forty-four, he studied psychotherapy in Vienna and eventually left the priesthood and married.

But he never seems to have lost his religious belief. He just incorporated it into his practice. How and where people stand—whether a wife faces her husband or has her back to him, or a son is alone in a corner or encircled by siblings—embodies their relationship. Sometimes it helps people see that relationship clearly for the first time.

A Familienaufstellung is both more impersonal and more weirdly intimate. The people in the room take turns posing one another, as in family sculpting, but rather than work with actual family members, who might inhibit one another, Hellinger and his followers work with complete strangers. None of the people in the room with me had met before that weekend.

Each session follows roughly the same order, like a religious ritual: confession, supplication, revelation, reconciliation. A malfunctioning family is wrenched into working order. The whole process takes less than two hours—a quick fix as therapy goes, which may account for some of its appeal. Baring first met Hellinger in and trained with him off and on for more than ten years.

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Why does a dog know that his master is coming home? There are no coincidences. When Ulf was done arranging his stand-ins, Baring began to wander among us. Most of us were standing upright or slouched on one leg, our hands on our hips or hanging at our sides. I stared at him, not sure what to say. I was either in or out, she said—anything else would disrupt the group dynamic.

So I did the best I could. I glanced over at Baring, a little sheepishly, but my comments only seemed to have redoubled her interest. Why was I numb? Was I repressing something? As Baring moved on among the others, they joined in with their own thoughts and sensations. At first, their exchanges had the cryptic, insinuating quality of lines in a Pinter play.

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But as the session wore on, a few clear story lines emerged. Others suspected that the uncle was hiding something much worse. While they talked, Ulf sat slumped in his chair to one side, his face wet with tears. From time to time, Baring would ask him what he thought. Did these stories ring true? Ulf would nod or shake his head. Baring took a blanket from one of the chairs and had three people lie on top of it, as if in a mass grave. When I asked how her patients could know so much about total strangers, she admitted that it was a mystery.

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Our unconscious is connected. Communing with your ancestors is more than a matter of mystical belief in Germany, Baring thinks. How else can a people so bent on silence for so long ever learn their true history? Two months before the Familienaufstellung , I went to a national congress of Kriegskinder in Cologne. More than twice as many people had requested tickets as were available, and the church was packed to a third over capacity.

The tight quarters and meagre rations would help set the mood, the organizer, Curt Hondrich, told us. Hondrich was one of the founders of the Kriegskinder movement, and a war child himself.

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Born in , Hondrich spent the war in a state of vague alarm, or so he imagined. His mother was Jewish by Nazi standards one of her grandparents was a Jew. The memories sometimes came back to him in flashes: Cowering in a concrete bunker with other neighborhood kids, their parents too hysterical to pay them any mind, the ground above them shaking from phosphor bombs.

The sky afterward flaming red, flecked with white as British bombers bailed from stricken planes and drifted down to the burning city. The bodies splayed like black puppets on the sidewalks. Then later, after the family had fled to northern Germany, bathing in the Weser River on a summer afternoon. Scrambling for cover as a squad of enemy fighters appeared above the trees, turned and dived and strafed him as he ran, the sand flying up to either side where the bullets struck.

What to do with memories like that? Tamp them down in your chest. Hondrich had always been afraid to swim, but never connected that fear to his experience on the Weser. Ever since the fighting began, elderly Germans had been hoarding food and water, as if preparing for an attack. The war was five thousand miles away, yet they could already hear boot steps approaching. What are they thinking?


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Hondrich wondered as he watched the footage. It was a while before he noticed that he was crying. That was very easy.

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To speak openly of German war trauma—to play the victim in a country that had victimized so many—was still taboo. Others had it much worse. Their stories multiplied and with them their audience. They came to Cologne from every corner of the country, pulling their past behind them like rattling oxcarts. Because they were undone by loud noises and tight spaces, uneasy with intimacy and desperate with solitude. Because they were seventy years old and still waiting for their lives to begin. They were mostly women, many too young to remember the war but still prone to its aftershocks.

More than seven million Germans were killed in the Second World War, as many as three million of them civilians. They died in air raids, ground battles, labor camps, and refugee shelters, from beatings, exposure, starvation, and disease. In the occupations that followed, as many as two million women and children were raped, and suicide and abortion rates surged. They avoid change and hold tight to their security. Hardly a generation has been untouched by conflict since the Thirty Years War, when more than half the population was killed by marauding armies.

Inherited trauma was the topic of the hour in Cologne. I spoke to one woman who traced her compulsive cleanliness to her grandmother, who lost a ten-day-old baby to infection in Another woman blamed her emotional extremes on Russian soldiers in Berlin, who molested her mother and her uncle as children.

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Some Germans see the smiting hand of a vengeful God in such stories. But the line between war trauma and ordinary angst—between suffering and self-pity—gets harder to draw as conflict and consequence drift further apart.


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  • She hit the jackpot. Thus the great tragedy of the twentieth century is trivialized, made banal, instrumentalized, and perverted. Studies of twins have backed this up: they suggest that vulnerability to P. And a study at the University of Zurich has shown that stress in a male mouse can alter the RNA in his sperm, causing depression and behavioral changes that persist in his progeny. How to break the chain?

    German pacifism has made a good start—the effects of P. And psychotherapy, like so much else, is both generously funded and strictly regulated in Germany: public health insurance pays for up to three hundred hours of counselling. There was much talk in Cologne of breakthroughs made after years of analysis. It was late in the day by then, after many hours of grim statistics and tragic stories, and I could feel the crowd getting impatient.

    Were these troubles really so intractable? But then the last speaker began to talk about her own practice in Berlin. She used a much more efficient method these days, she said, and it had proved extremely effective. It was called a Familienaufstellung. The speaker was Gabriele Baring. She peered over her small horn-rimmed frames as she talked, and punctuated her confidences with a low, husky laugh. Before she became a therapist, ten years ago, Baring was a senior editor at Merian , a well-known travel magazine in Germany.

    Her method depends on it. A Familienaufstellung is a machine for processing grief. Bert Hellinger, the former priest, imbued his method with traditional family values. The father is the head of the household; the mother takes care of the children; the children must honor and forgive their elders. Any disruption in this structure—whether from adultery, abuse, indifference, or abandonment—must be set to rights. Any broken ties, even to the unborn, may haunt the descendants. Hellinger is now ninety and still leads the occasional Familienaufstellung , at home and abroad, sometimes drawing audiences of several hundred.

    He has become a guru of sorts, and his views have grown correspondingly capricious—even perverse at times. Hellinger pondered for a moment and pointed at the husband. Then he pointed at the wife. They belong to the husband. You can create a problem that may not be there. Baring told me to concentrate on his earlier work—though her approach may be as prone as his to inventing false narratives—while other therapists have tried to put their method on firmer footing.

    Two years ago, a group of psychologists at the University of Heidelberg published a controlled, randomized study of Familienaufstellungen. They took two hundred and eight participants and divided them into two groups. Half were kept on a waiting list; the other half were divided into groups of twenty-six and participated in a three-day-long session, led by an experienced therapist a best-case scenario, given the haphazard quality of the field. Two weeks after the session, members of the active group felt better, on average, about their social relations than seventy-three per cent of those in the control group.

    A Familienaufstellung owes much of its power to the secrets it reveals. How does it work, if not by spiritual means?