Chronicles from the Future: The amazing story of Paul Amadeus Dienach
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Introductions typically attempt to present the essence of a book, highlighting the most important elements of the story you are about to read. My introduction does not do that. Rather, I will be telling you the story of how this unique text came to be, its journey from the 1920s until today.
This is a book that contains the diary of a man who never intended his words to be revealed to the world. It chronicles an experience that was never shared for fear of ridicule and disbelief. As you work your way through his very personal memoire, the reason for secrecy will soon become clear – the author claimed to have lived in the future and returned back to his original era, 20th century central Europe, to record a detailed account, outlining exactly what happened during his journey.
The real protagonists of this amazing, true story are two persons: Paul Amadeus Dienach, the author, and the man who claimed to have lived in the future; and George Papahatzis, Dienach’s student of German language studies to whom he left his notes - the diary you hold in your hands today.
After making the first acquaintances, let's start unravelling their story step-by-step.
Paul Amadeus Dienach was a Swiss-Austrian teacher with fragile health. His father was a German-speaking Swiss and his mother was an Austrian from Salzburg. Dienach travelled to Greece in the Autumn of 1922, after having recovered from a one-year coma caused by a serious illness, hoping that the mild climate would improve his condition.
During his time in Greece, Dienach taught French and German language lessons in order to provide himself with a minimum income. Amongst his students was George Papahatzis, a student that Dienach appreciated more than any of the others. Papahatzis describes his teacher as a "very cautious and very modest man that used to emphasize the details".
Dienach, as we learn from Papahatzis, was born in a suburb of Zurich and lived his adolescence in a village near the large Swiss city. He later followed humanitarian studies with a strong inclination to the history of cultures and classical philology. It is believed that he eventually died from tuberculosis in Athens, Greece, or on his way back to his homeland through Italy, probably during the first quarter of 1924.
Before Paul Dienach died, he entrusted Papahatzis with part of his life and soul– his diary. Without telling Papahatzis what the notes were, he left him with the simple instructions that he should use the documents to improve his German by translating them from German to Greek.
Papahatzis did as he asked. Initially, he believed Dienach had written a novel, but as he progressed with translations, he soon realized the notes were actually his diary… from the future!
At this point we have to clarify something crucial. Dienach is thought to have suffered from Encephalitis lethargica, a strange neurological disease that develops an immune system response to overloaded neurons. The first time Dienach fell into a lethargic sleep it was for 15 minutes. The second time it was for a whole year…
During this year that Dienach was in a coma in a Geneva hospital, he claimed to have entered the body of another person, Andreas Northam, who lived in the year 3906 AD.
Old Painting of Zurich ( Source)
Once he recovered from his coma, Dienach didn't talk to anyone about his remarkable experience because he thought he would be considered crazy. However, what he did do was write down the entirety of his memory relating to what he had seen of the future. Towards the end of his life, he even stopped his teaching job in order to have as much time as possible to write everything he could remember.
Dienach describes everything he experienced of the environment and people of the year 3906 AD, according to the mind-set and limited knowledge of a 20th century man. This was not an easy task for Dienach. There were many things he claims not to have understood about what he saw, nor was he familiar with all their terms, technology, or the evolutionary path they had followed.
In his memoires, he claims that the people of the future fully understood his peculiar medical situation, which they called " conscious slide ", and they told Dienach as many things as they could in relation to the historical events that took place between the 21st and 39th century. The only thing they didn't tell him was the exact story of the 20th century, in case Dienach’s consciousness returned back to his original body and era (as he did) – they believed it would be dangerous to let him know his immediate future and the future of his era in case it disturbed or altered the path of history and his life.