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Wilhelm Tell!

Published: June 25, 2009

On Tuesday night in Waldsee, our Abendprogramm told the story of Wilhelm Tell. According to the legend, Wilhelm Tell, an expert marksman, lived in Switzerland (in the canton of Uri) at the end of the 13th century. At the time, the Habsburg Empire had conquered Uri, and the Austrian Hermann Gessler was appointed as its ruler. Gessler erected a pole in the center of town, upon which he hung his hat, and all Swiss citizens were expected to bow before it. When Wilhelm Tell did not bow before the hat, he was arrested and forced to shoot an apple off the head of his son, Walter. According to legend, he did just that, and was promised freedom. But when Gessler noticed that Tell had a second arrow, Tell said that had he killed his son, he would have shot Gessler as well. Tell was arrested again, and sent to a castle by boat. That night, there was a storm on Lake Lucerne, and Tell managed to escape, and eventually shot Gessler. This rebellion eventually led to the formation of the Swiss Confederation. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="500" caption="Wilhelm Tell wird gefangen !"]Wilhelm Tell wird gefangen ![/caption] In Waldsee's version of the events, Tell runs away from the Austrian guards after he has successfully shot the apple off Walter's head. When Tell is pursued by Gessler's guards, Gessler is left alone, and is in turn pursued by the Swiss citizens. Waldsee is then divided into two sides, Switzerland and Austria. The Swiss must try to capture Gessler in Austria, and the Austrians must try to capture Tell in Switzerland. Citizens of each country are safe on their own side of Waldsee, but if they cross to the other side, they can be captured by that country's residents and brought to jail. The only way to get out of jail is to ... sing! Below you can see a video from the night's events: