Gunter - The Cross Examination


Gunter was still inquisitive of my fencing skills and curious to learn where I had acquired them. I told him that I had belonged to a fencing club, and had developed my own style, but he wasn't buying it.

"Michael I am not trying to trap you. In spite of your suspicions, there are no surveillance cameras, watchtowers or guard dogs, and this is not the Gestapo headquarters." he added.

"I am asking you this because I know that you were in my fencing hall. Karl, who was watching from above, almost fell out of the window when he witnessed you perform a salutation with an epee. That salutation has nothing to do with the skills of fencing, and you cannot find it in the epee lexicon. I'm sure that you know what I am referring to," he added in a firm tone.

I nodded. For a moment I felt as if I was at the dock at the Nuremburg trials.

Gunter continued with the questioning. "We cannot believe that you were witnessed performing a ritual confrontation technique, which is unknown in the fencing world. That ritual was invented by us in Cologne in 1936, and remained a secret. You must have been a baby in that year, or perhaps had not yet been born. We were a close-knit group of 18 fencers who invented this ritual movement, and after the war only six of us remained alive. Three of them are here in the room right now"

Without giving me a chance to organize my thoughts he politely confronted me again, and in German.

"Who taught you this please? We have to know!"

All eyes were on me. I should have told him the truth from the beginning to spare myself all this grilling.

"You're right. I apologize. Two Masters taught me. One was from Utrecht, the other from Cologne."

Gunter's response can only be described as the sound of a shell fired from one of his Panzer tanks. At the mention of Cologne he was on his feet, and completely rattled. Momentarily, he had lost his Germanic composure and discipline.

"His name, I have to know his name," he thundered.