|The ‘Second Haunch of Venison’ is the darkest and most mysterious chapter in the ‘Haunch of Venison’ trilogy.
It harks back to the founding of ‘Memelburg’, a castle built by the Teutonic Knights in Klaipėda, Lithuania, near the Baltic Sea. The Teutonic Order had been waging an ongoing war against the Old Prussians, Lithuanians and Samogitians during the 13th century. In order to entrench their gains, the Teutons built a number of castles.
‘Memelburg’ was first mentioned in written sources in 1252 and it marked the beginning of a German Christian culture in this region that would only end after Word War II in 1945. I am a descendant of this lost culture, born 20 years after it was destroyed and know nothing about it other what my late grandmother and my father told me about it.
According to one source, it was the Grand Master of the Teutons, Eberhard II von Sayn, who made an agreement with the Curonian bishop to build a fortification. However it was the succeeding Count of Sayn, that gave these origins of German Christian culture a deep shadow.
Count Henry II was being accused of satanic orgies by the Church's German Grand Inquisitor, Conrad von Marburg, in 1233. Henry was acquitted by an assembly of bishops in Mainz, but Conrad refused to accept the verdict and left Mainz. What followed is shrouded in the fog of history, however Conrad was killed, and Henry's own Knights have been the prime suspects ever since.
With so few facts remaining it is impossible to separate it from fiction. We must be very cautious here. Germany’s Grand Inquisitor was killed before he could send out a report to Pope Gregory IX and his death put an end to inquiries. The Teutonic Knights still operate today, although since 1923 (the same year that Lithuanian military forces took over the city), as a purely religious order. The accusations of heresy were issued a great many times, the accusations of satanic orgies less frequent, but are by no means limited to the House of Sayn.
There are no credible sources that link heresy and the Teutonic Knights. Whether these sources have been destroyed and eliminated like Conrad, or none existed in the first place, is more a matter of speculation about the relationship between the Church in the Middle Ages and other pre-Christian cults that survived, however clandestine, within it.
In 1945 almost all Germans were either displaced by force or fled in advance of approaching tanks of the Red Army, like my family did. The membership of the Teutonic Knights in today’s Germany is about 40 brothers. It can still confer limited honorary knighthoods.
In the ‘First Haunch of Venison’, in my Schumann-ian spiritual house, surrounded by the imaginary forest, I saw a different type of crucifix. Now, in the ‘Second Haunch of Venison’ the deer is dead. I see a skeleton. It tells me of things lost a long time ago.