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I’m not a sheriff, I’m a historian.

Klaas, to Herr Zimmermann

Klaas Gottschall is the main character in one of the Remember - Amnesia The Dark Descent short stories, "House of Gerich."


Klaas Gottschall was a historian at the university in Königsberg, Prussia.[1] In 1774, Klaas was studying cases of a crime spree in the small village of Altstadt, which lasted from 1702 to 1704.[2] Out of those who battled the crime spree, one name stood out to him, a nobleman from the House of Gerich, by the name of Wilhelm.[1]

The book from which he drew most of his information, called Heritage by eminent historian Ludwig Kleist, listed the activities and fates of prominent people such as Wilhelm, but it held little information of what Wilhelm did after his service with the mystic nobleman supposedly ended in 1704, after the authorities in Königsberg were sent to inquire the Baron about the legality of his law enforcement activities.[3][4][5] To discover more about Wilhelm and study his last solved case, as well as information on what he did afterwards, Klaas traveled to Altstadt.[4]

Events of "House of Gerich"[]

In Altstadt, Klaas met with the town magistrate, who had no documentation of Wilhelm's arrangements with the Baron of Brennenburg and suggested Klaas go to Brennenburg Castle and ask the Baron for a more detailed explanation; however, the magistrate was able to provide the documents concerning Wilhelm’s last case.[6]

Klaas then visited the former Stoss farm, the barn of which was destroyed on September 28th, 1704, by a large fire, killing the farmer, Herr Stoss.[6][7] This was alleged to have been a deliberate act of arson committed by the farmhand, Emil.[6][7] Upon his arrival, Klaas was approached by Herr Zimmermann, then current owner of the Stoss Farm. Zimmermann asked why he had come, and Klaas told the farmer about his investigation into the 70-year-old fire. Although Zimmermann found the investigation amusing, he allowed Klaas onto his land.[8]

Klaas then investigated the area around the farm, including the area where the barn had stood.[9] Upon seeing the burnt remnants, he realized that the large barn would have taken a good deal of time to burn down, which caused him to question the recorded sequence of events, drawn from the statement Dorothea Stoss gave to the magistrate.[9] Frau Stoss had testified that Wilhelm had known about Emil’s plans and had sent a man to spy on him, leading to them catching the rogue farmhand red-handed.[9] Klaas wondered why Herr Stoss, with ample time to escape, had not tried to save himself; furthermore, he was suspicious as to Wilhelm’s quick arrival at the scene.[9]

After leaving the farm, Klaas was left with his own suspicions about the whole ordeal.[10] He then went to the church in Altstadt and asked the priest if he had any archival information on what happened to Dorothea Stoss and the fate of the farm after the fire.[10] The priest informed Klaas that although Dorothea was long dead, her daughter, Anna Koch (née Stoss), was still alive.[10] Klaas was also able to discover information regarding the farm, but nothing on Emil.[10]

He then paid the widowed Frau Koch a visit, and was surprised to learn that she considered the entire affair a tragic accident, even holding Emil in high regard.[11] In her testimony, Anna stated that she had given the nyctophobic Emil some lamp oil for a makeshift nightlight, which kept burning after he’d fallen asleep. When the family woke up to Emil’s screams of panic, her father had foolishly ran into the barn to save the animals inside, never coming out.[12] After this, Wilhelm arrived and arrested Emil, but Anna remained certain he was let off easy due to it being an accident.[12]

Klaas turned up very little in the way of new evidence, only more questions about the nature of the last case, the barn fire, Wilhelm's involvement with it, and his whereabouts after.

Klaas' final stop was Brennenburg Castle. As he walked through the castle's desolate front gates and into its quiet courtyard, he approached the castle's main door and knocked on it, hoping to find some answers.


Klaas' fate after his visit to Brennenburg is unknown.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Remember: "House of Gerich" – “The magistrate’s office has almost no records detailing these crimes, as most arrests were handled by an unknown nobleman named Wilhelm. -Klaas Gottschall, University of Königsberg”
  2. Remember: "House of Gerich" – “Altstadt has never seen much crime, but there was a dark period spanning from the early winter of 1702 until late summer of 1704.”
  3. Remember: "House of Gerich" – “In 1704, a sheriff from Königsberg were sent to Altstadt to question Wilhelm about the civil arrests he had undertaken. It seems safe to assume that Wilhelm was made to cease his efforts, but was allowed to leave on his own accord, as no documents details this meeting. Considering that the arrival of the sheriff coincides with Wilhelm’s last case this fact seems glaringly obvious.”
  4. 4.0 4.1 Remember: "House of Gerich" – “‘Two things. I would like to know if there is anything which supports the claim that Wilhelm was working for the Baron of Brennenburg in order to quell the rise of crime. Wilhelm remained unknown by most and Kleist argues that he might have been working for the Baron to gain influence in higher circles.’ explained Klaas.”
  5. Remember: "House of Gerich" – “It stands to reason that we lack information about half of Wilhelm’s life. In 1704, when he was but 34 years old, we find the last documents detailing his efforts. Wilhelm had for two years been working for Baron Alexander of Brennenburg as a secret lawman.”
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Remember: "House of Gerich" – “‘Excuse me, but it doesn’t really prove that there was no deal, rather that the barony have been a quiet lot.’’Not quiet – private. If there ever was such a deal, the magistrate´s office wouldn’t know. My point being, I can not help you.’’That’s a shame.’‘You could ask for an audience with Baron Alexander.’’I have, but haven’t heard back.’ Lost in thought, Klaas walked over to the window and looked outside. He watched the people on the town square go about their daily life. This is how he preferred to observe the world, from behind a protective window pane.‘What was the other thing?’ asked the magister. ‘Excuse me?’‘Before, you said there were two things you wanted help with.’‘I need the documents concerning the fire.’”
  7. 7.0 7.1 Remember: "House of Gerich" – “The carriage headed south in search for the old farmstead described in the documents. On Thursday, 28 September, 1704, there was a fire which consumed a barn a few miles south of Altstadt. It was Wilhelm’s last case. The documents procured from the magistrate’s office contains a handful of testimonies from witnesses, but it lacks a final statement from Wilhelm. The fates of Wilhelm and the arsonist have never been fully disclosed. A sheriff from Königsberg was sent to investigate Wilhelm’s endeavors, but he returned early winter, 1704, reporting that crimes had dropped in Altstadt and that there was no trace of the nobleman.”
  8. Remember: "House of Gerich" – “‘Hey there!’ ‘Herr Stoss?‘ asked Klaas. ‘No, there is no Stoss around here. My name is Zimmermann.’ ‘I see, do you mind if I look around? I’m from Königsberg. I’m investigating the fire.’ ‘Fire?’ ‘Yes, in 1704 there was a large fire here.’ Zimmermann laughed. ‘1704? That’s almost seventy years ago!’ ‘Yes, I’m well aware.’ ‘Of course, come.’ Zimmermann was still holding back his laughter, ‘What’s your name, Sheriff?’ ‘Klaas, but I’m not a sheriff, I’m a historian.’ ‘Now, that sounds about right.’”
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Remember: "House of Gerich" – “The site of the fire was considered too much of a hassle to clear, as it was still littered with pieces of burned wood. Zimmermann wasn’t concerned as it worked just fine as a pasture. Klaas wasn’t sure what he was looking for, but was hoping he would turn up something. He looked around the grassland, towards the forest and back at the farmstead. The men were working on the house, while the driver had lit a pipe. What am I doing, he thought. He looked at the documents detailing the event again. He tried to imagine it play out in front of him. The two standing houses were most likely from Stoss’ farm. Klaas was standing where the barn stood. The farmhand, named Emil, torched the barn with his master inside. The fire quickly spread... Wait a minute. The barn was really large. This must have taken a long time. How come the farmer didn’t save himself and how did Wilhelm show up so quickly?”
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Remember: "House of Gerich" – “Klaas returned to Altstadt. His own suspicions was as unfounded as Kleist’s fairytale, but there was something strange about the whole ordeal. He pushed open the heavy door leading into the church. The priest was lighting some candles as the cloudy afternoon left the church in the dark. ‘Father?’ called Klaas. ‘Welcome, my son.’ ‘I need your help.’ ‘God answers those who pray.’ ‘Well, yes, this is more worldly. I need insight into the church records. I need to know what happened to Dorothea Stoss.’ ‘Happened to her? Whatever do you mean?’ ‘I need to know what happened to the farm after the fire,’ pressed Klaas. ‘I’m not sure what you are talking about, but Dorothea lived with her daughter, Anna, for years here in Altstadt. She passed away. Must have been fifteen or twenty years ago.’ ‘Her daughter? Is she still alive?’”
  11. Remember: "House of Gerich" – “‘Do you remember the fire at the farm?’ ‘Oh, dear, I haven’t thought about that for years! Why do you ask?’ ‘I’m trying to find out what happened to Wilhelm and the farmhand...’ ‘Emil,’ she jumped in. ‘He was such a sweet man.’ ‘Really, I’m surprised you would say that.’ ‘How so?’ ‘He killed your father.’ ‘Don’t be ridiculous.’”
  12. 12.0 12.1 Remember: "House of Gerich" – “Sometimes Emil had to sleep alone inside the barn. He was twenty years of age, but still afraid of the dark, so I would sneak him some lamp oil he could burn in a tin bowl. He fell asleep with the fire still burning. Later he woke up screaming his lungs out. The barn was on fire. The entire family quickly gathered in the yard, but father being the man he was, decided he was going to save the animals inside. As you well know, he never came out. Emil was crying hysterically. I tried to comfort him, as I didn’t yet realize what had happened. Later, that Wilhelm fellow, arrived with his men telling Emil that he would have to come with them. Us children were sent inside, but mother spoke to the lawmen and later wrote a statement to the magister in town.”