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Kommandant Gertrude

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Kommandant Gertrude
Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: Kommandant Gertrude
Original Airdate: February 28, 1971
Production Number: 5784-161
Written by: Laurence Marks
Directed by: Bruce Bilson
Produced by: Edward H. Feldman, William A. Calihan & Jerry London

Regular Edit

Prisoners Edit

Camp Personnel Edit

Semi-Regulars Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Synopsis Edit

Hogan must get a U.S. general out of camp, Klink's plans to move the fence line, and Gertrude's arrives with her fiancé whom she would make Stalag 13's adjutant.

Plot Details Edit

It is night, and Hammelburg is being heavily bombed. The Unsung Heroes are on standby in the woods, in case any of the Allied bombers are shot down. The German flak defenses are quite effective tonight, and score many hits. The first parachute Hogan's men spot comes down in the woods within a click of them. They rush to the man's aid, but are driven away by 45-caliber pistol fire. Hogan warns his men to play it safe, and they approach again, hands in the air. A noticeably short older man wearing an American bomber crew uniform, complete with wool jacket and cap, points his .45 ACP at them and demands in mangled German that they stick their hands up. Hogan answers in clear English, assuring him that he has landed among friends. The man is Brigader General Al Sharpe, commander of the bomber squadron flying overhead. Hogan quickly brings General Sharpe up to speed on his predicament. The Unsung Heroes then whisk their unexpected high-ranking guest back to Stalag 13 as fast as they can, before the German patrols can find him.

Meanwhile, back at Stalag 13, Klink is attempting to woo his latest girlfriend - a lovely young blond named Karen Richter - in his private quarters with his violin skills. In truth he does a better job of butchering "Der Liebenstraum" than actually playing it, but neither Richter nor Schultz (who is attending) let on that they notice. Instead, once Klink is finished playing, both of them heap him with false praise. Klink soon sends Schultz scurrying out of the living room so he can be alone with Karen. The two soon engage in romantic small talk, and everything seems to be going well until Karen spills her wineglass on Klink. She apologizes profusely, but Klink takes it in stride. Excusing himself, he rushes to his bedroom to change out of his wet uniform jacket and into "something more comfortable" - his favorite red smoking jacket, that is. In the brief time that he is away, Karen gets up and hurriedly looks through the papers and plans on his desk, then sits back and arranges herself as she was before he left. Klink picks up right where he left off, but it is not long before Karen invents an excuse and announces it is time for her to leave. As Klink helps her with her coat, she deliberately leaves her gloves behind - and after she sends Schultz back inside to get them, she has a few hurried words with Hogan, who is hiding in the bushes next to Klink's front porch. Karen Richter is in fact an agent of the German underground, and she has been posing as Klink's latest squeeze in order to help the Unsung Heroes. Tonight, she not found anything important in Klink's papers; however, she has learned something that will affect Hogan's operations. Among Klink's papers are plans to move the camp guard towers 100 yards farther out from the outer fence. Hogan groans at hearing this news, but thanks Karen anyway and sends her on her way. Klink's change will put the emergency tunnel exit right along the new guard tower perimeter. There will be no way to evacuate General Sharpe while the work is underway, and definitely none once the move is completed. Hogan has to find a way to stop Klink's plans before then.

The next day, to his surprise, Klink personally takes Hogan outside the wire on a guided tour of the new guard tower perimeter. Obstensibly, Klink is showing him the thoroughness of the new sercuity measures. Actually, Klink is worried. He has just been notified that General Burkhalter is on his way for one of his informal camp inspections. What worries Klink the most is that Burkhalter is bringing his sister with him - the indomitable Frau Linkmeyer.
"The abominable snow-woman again?!" Hogan says, grinning ear-to-ear. Klink then launches into an unbelievable self-introspection on his apparent attraction to women. Hogan soon brings Klink back to earth, and is sent back inside the wire for his impertinence.

Shortly thereafter Burkhalter's staff car comes through the main gate and parks at the kommandantur. There is an unexpected third member of Burkhalter's party - a Luftwaffe major in full dress uniform. Somewhat distant and aloof, he is noticeably younger than Frau Linkmeyer. She proudly introduces him to Klink as Major Wolfgang Karp - her fiance. A tremendous grin flashes across Klink's face as he salutes Karp and shakes his hand. As the general escorts his guests inside the kommandantur, Klink follows them -- grinning like the proverbial idiot. Schultz, who brings up the rear, is also smiling - happy that his commandant has seemingly escaped Frau Linkmeyer's clutches for good. In fact, Klink is so elated that he offers to throw "the happy couple" an engagement party. Frau Linkmeyer is pleasantly surprised, but not so her brother the general, since the party will have to be paid for from camp funds; i.e. HIS budget. Burkhalter is overruled by the REAL authority in the room. "We accept, Albert," Frau Linkmeyer informs him. At the general's insistence, the newlyweds-to-be go on a tour of the stalag, while Klink and Burkhalter remain behind in Klink's office. Burkhalter is also relieved that he may have at last found a husband for his widowed sister, but his next few words stagger Klink. Burkhalter plans to appoint Karp as Klink's new adjutant. It is his way of making sure that his sister's new husband is not lost in combat -- like her last one. Klink is flabbergasted at the news. Having Karp as his second-in-command would mean ...!!! "It was Gertrude's idea," Burkhalter says, delighted at Klink's obvious and sudden discomfiture.

"That Kraut as adjutant?!" Hogan says, once Klink informs him of the news. He genuinely feels sorry for Klink's predicament, and agrees to help with the engagement party. "We can't turn you down," he says to Klink. "We've been enemies for so long." Somewhat relieved, Klink then leaves Hogan's office and subsequently the barracks, asking Hogan's men to pay him no mind and go on as they were. In so doing, he fails to notice a small form hiding under a blanket in one of the farthest of the top bunks. It is General Sharpe, and once Klink is gone he is all over the Unsung Heroes for getting him back to England and his bomber squadron as fast as they can. Hogan says they might be able to get him out in a few days once things settle down, which doesn't sit well with him. Nevertheless, he begrudges them their situation and heads back down to the tunnels. He is obviously irritated, and before he disappears intimates that he just might have to pull rank in order to get the results he wants.

The bridal party for Major Karp and Frau Linkmeyer is a festive, well-attended and well-stocked affair. True to their word, the Unsung Heroes have pitched in with all their skill and talent. Hogan supervises, LeBeau cooks, and the rest serve under Schultz as busboys and waiters. Also in attendance is Karen Richter, and Klink proudly introduces her to Hogan. Both of them act as if is the first time they've met for Klink's benefit. As he is distracted by the sight of Schultz "drowning in the punchbowl," Hogan and Richter see the prospective bride and groom walking towards them. Major Karp is in full dress uniform, with ceremonial dagger, looking decidedly unfestive and uncomfortable despite his surroundings. Frau Linkmeyer has the look of a cross Catholic nun - probably reacting to Hogan's lovely young companion - and is wearing an ugly blue dress that is decidedly out of style. Introductions are made, and Hogan does not fail to notice - nor does Frau Linkmeyer - the sudden light that is just as quickly hidden when Karp greets Fraulein Richter. Nevertheless, she sends him away with her, warning him against "too much entertainment," in order that she can have a few words with Hogan in private. Surprised, Hogan agrees, sensing an opportunity that might work to his advantage. She confides that she is planning for Karp to eventually displace Klink and become the new commandant of Stalag 13. Hogan then suggests that Klink is more worried about Karp finding out how expensive it will be to move the guard towers than anything else about his new adjutant, and suggests that Karp not mention the matter to Burkhalter. Frau Linkmeyer agrees, saying, "Albert doesn't like it when the luft-stalags spend money," then smiles and adds, "but it would be very good for Wolfgang's career." Suggestion planted, Hogan rejoins the party just as Klink is formally introducing General Burkhalter to the guests.

The following day, Hogan and his men watch from the window of Barracks 2 as the last of the new guard tower frames is torn apart beyond the wire. "Good work, colonel," Lebeau praises. Hogan suggests they thank "good ol' Gertrude," then tells Baker to contact London and arrange a pickup for General Sharpe. As they joke among themselves, their troubles apparently over, Schutlz suddenly barges in. "The commandant has an important announcement to make!" he informs them. All the POWs of Stalag 13 assemble in roll call formation before the kommandantur. Standing before them are Schultz, Klink, and Karp, with Burkhalter and his sister watching from the kommandantur porch. Klink formally announces to the assembly that he will not be moving the guard towers, based on consultations with his new adjutant. Instead, and again on Karp's advice - "and others" he says, looking back at Frau Linkmeyer - a guard will now be posted on a regular 24-hour rotation basis in every barracks. The assembled POWs protest vehemently, but to no avail. The new system is to begin with the changing of the guard at 1600 hours (4 pm). After the assembly is dismissed, Hogan and his men return to Barracks 2 and ponder their new predicament. They have two hours to either get Sharpe out of camp before the guard is posted or find some way to stop the new system before then. "If this new 24-hour guard sticks, we're out of business," Newkirk observes ruefully. Hogan agrees, observing that Frau Linkmeyer will be the true boss of the camp from now on, and the only way to get rid of her is to destroy Karp's reputation in her eyes. "We get rid of him, we get rid of her," he concludes. LeBeau points out that the man is innocent of anything except being Frau Linkmeyer's fiance, but Hogan can't afford to sympathize with him right now. He gives LeBeau orders to quickly get as much food and water in the tunnels for General Sharp as he can, and then waits to see what develops next.

Either by luck or guile on Hogan's part, Schultz is the first German soldier to be posted to guard Barracks 2 under the new system. He watches hungrily from his post as the prisoners eat, sharing one of LeBeau's legendary Red Cross package potlucks. LeBeau, feeling sorry for him, hands him a slice of rye bread, which Schultz greedily wolfs. As soon as dinner is over Hogan heads over to Klink's office to complain about the new system. Klink is there waiting for him - and so too is Frau Linkmeyer, who is busy going over Klink's paperwork with him. She soon makes it clear to everyone in the room who in truth is now running Stalag 13. Chagrined, Hogan has no choice but to leave and return to the barracks - but not before squeezing in a pointed jibe at Klink about who's now running the camp. He has now had all of Frau Linkmeyer that he can stand, and he calls in Karen Richter to help him pull off a plan to get the imperious fraulein out of his hair - and out of what is left of Klink's - once and for all.

The next day, as he is relaxing in his guest quarters, Major Karp receives a surprise visitor. It is the lovely Fraulein Richter - and not surprisingly, Major Karp asks the attending Schultz to leave. Richter claims to have fallen in love with him at the engagement party. This comes as a pleasant surprise to Karp, and he quickly moves to take advantage of it. He points out that she can be little more than his mistress, and a secret one at that, due to his predicament. He then confides that his marriage to Frau Linkmeyer is nothing more than a sacrifice he deems necessary to escape assignment to the Russian front. He would rather enjoy the company of the younger woman, as often as it can be arrange, if she would be agree to her role. She appears to, and wraps herself around him in an apparent loving embrace. So thrilled is he with her attentions - especially given the company he's had to keep lately - that he fails to notice the lipstick she has smeared on her hands, and which she is busy smearing on his face and sweater. Coincidentally, Hogan pays yet another visit to the kommandantur, where he just "happens" to mention that Karp and Richter are alone together. At the same time, Schultz shows up and tells Klink and Frau Linkmeyer that Karp has just sent him away, Even LeBeau chimes in, playing the part of the enraged chef whose cooking Karp and Richter are too busy to enjoy. This confirms what appears to be a deliberate indiscretion on Karp's part. An enraged Frau Linkmeyer barrels out of Klink's office and makes a beeline for the guest quarters, where she finds a gushing Karen Richter and her fiance with Richter's lipstick all over him. The sight is too much for her, and she breaks down immediately. Crying "Albert! Albert!" over and over again, she staggers back outside. Karp winds up with the one-ticket to Stalingrad that he so dreaded, courtesy of the enraged General Burkhalter. Hogan consoles Klink over the loss of his young girlfriend, but suggest that an older, more mature woman might be more suited to him - someone like Frau Linkmeyer, perhaps. Klink glares at him. "Hogan, I could have you shot for that," he snaps. "On what charge?" Hogan demands. "Threatening a German officer!" Klink rapidly responds. Hogan thinks for a moment, then concedes the point.

The next day, things are back to normal at Stalag 13. Outside the kommandantur, Sergeant Baker approaches Hogan with some good news. General Sharpe, with the underground's help, was picked up at 2300 hours the night before by a plane bound for England. Hogan thanks Baker for the news and heads on in to the kommandantor, where Burkhalter is again visiting Klink. It seems that Hogan's joke about Klink needing an older woman may be coming true after all. "What she needs is consolation," Burkhalter tells the uneasy Klink, as it soon becomes obvious that Frau Linkmeyer is once again being foisted upon him for marriage. He order Klink to have a dinner with his sister at the Hauserhof that evening, and then leaves. Hogan passes Burkhalter on his way in to see Klink, who is busy pouring himself some brandy and trying to stay calm. Hogan warns him to "lay off the sauce." "Who cares?!" an exasperated Klink complains. "You want to spend the evening looking at TWO Frau Linkmeyers?" Hogan advises. Klink freezes, then quickly pours his drink back into the brandy bottle.

Story Notes Edit

  • This is the one hundred and sixty-first produced episode of the series, but is the one hundred and sixty-fifth to be shown on television, and is also the twenty-first episode shown for the Sixth Season.
  • Frau Karen Richter is the sister of Captain Richter, aide to General Wexler of the Promotions Board (Cuisine a la Stalag 13). Major Karp alludes to this, observing the fact that Karen's brother doesn't have a rank higher than General Burkhalter's. Both apparently work secretly for the Allied cause, each in their own way.
  • This is the last episodic appearance for both Kathleen Freeman and for her character Gertrude Linkmeyer.

Background Trivia Edit

Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit

Quotes Edit

Hogan and Newkirk, on General Sharpe

  • Newkirk (disbelieving) - That's the smallest general I ever saw.
  • Hogan - Maybe we ought to throw him back.

Klink attempts some romantic small talk with Karen Richter, his latest girlfriend

  • Karen (faking a smile) - You make such beautiful music, Wilhelm.
  • Klink (waving his finger) - Uh-uh-ahhh! WE make beautiful music. (laughs)

(Klink now sits beside Karen on the sofa)

  • Klink (continuing) - When I'm with you, my heart becomes a violin.
  • Karen (sweetly) - Oh, that's very poetic.
  • Klink (confident aside) - Yes, I think so.

Karen and Hogan discuss Klink's violin skills

  • Karen (exasperated, speaking low) - Oh, that violin! I thought I'd scream.
  • Hogan (also speaking low) - That's Klink's version of the Chinese water torture.

Klink comments on his attractiveness to women

  • Klink - What is this remarkable attraction that women have for me? Why, Hogan? Why?
  • Hogan (pondering) - Oh ... I don't know. Could be your brains, your charm, your wit, your military bearing --
  • Klink (quickly) - Yes!
  • Hogan (continuing) - Could be ... I doubt it.

Klink learns he may have escaped marriage to Frau Linkmeyer

  • Burkhalter - Well? What do you think of these two, Klink?
  • Klink (laughs broadly) - All the world loves a lover!
  • Karp (smoothly) - I realize this may be difficult for you, colonel. Gertrude has told me you two were ... friends.
  • Klink - Well ... (laughs nervously) ... that's the way it goes. You can't win them all.
  • Burkhalter (knowing smile) - I have a feeling Klink will recover.
  • Klink (idiot grin) - I cannot TELL you how relieved--

(Both Major Karp and Frau Linkmeyer glare at him)

  • Klink (correcting himself) --PLEASED, uhhmmm, pleased I am.
  • Linkmeyer - Thank you, Wilhelm. We will announce our engagement in a day or two. Right, Wolfgang? (cuts him off before he can answer) Right.
  • Klink - You know, General Burkhalter, I've just had what I consider to be an absolutely brilliant idea!
  • Burkhalter - That's hard to believe ....

Hogan gets the not-so-welcome news about Major Karp, Frau Linkmeyer's groom-to-be

  • Hogan (shocked) - That Kraut as adjutant?!
  • Klink (moping, not paying attention) - Yes, that Kraut! (double-take) Hogan!
  • Hogan - Sorry, sir. I guess I got carried away.
  • Klink - I wish I could be.

Hogan tries to complain about Frau Linkmeyer's way of running Stalag 13.

  • Linkmeyer (imperiously) - Why do you object to the new guard system, colonel?
  • Hogan (edge in voice) - It doesn't make sense and it's degrading.
  • Linkmeyer (smiling) - You ARE prisoners of war.
  • Klink (chiming in) - Yes, I noticed that, too! (looks at her) I still think the guard towers should be moved.
  • Linkmeyer (imperiously) - Wolfgang is against it, and so am I.
  • Klink (frustrated) - I'm still the commandant here!
  • Linkmeyer (firmly) - And General Burkhalter is also against it.
  • Klink (backing off quickly) - He didn't say anthing about it to me.
  • Hogan - He will ... as soon as Frau Linkmeyer tells him what to say.

(Frau Linkmeyer's head whips around, fire in her eyes, she slams the table with both hands in frustration. Klink looks up, his face going from resignation to shock in an instant)

  • Linkmeyer (evenly) - HOGAN!!
  • Hogan (playing dumb) - Jawohl, herr commandant. Sorry. (glances at Klink) Can't seem to keep you two straight.

(Klink slams the table with both hands in obvious frustration. Linkmeyer is still glaring at Hogan.)

  • Klink - HOGAN!!!

Schultz has just broken the bad news about Major Karp's apparent indiscretion to Frau Linkmeyer.

  • Linkmeyer (enraged) - She (Karen Richter) is ALONE with him?!?
  • Schultz (confused) - Definitely, frau.
  • Klink (hurriedly) - We will find out right away what's going on.
  • Hogan (interrupting) - Hold on, I'm sure it's all perfectly innocent.
  • Schultz (assuredly) - Ja, two people alone in the afternoon, with a bottle of champaigne doesn't mean anything. (winks at Hogan)
  • Klink (shocked) - THAT is my GIRL!
  • Linkmeyer (alarmed) - That's my fiance!

(LeBeau barges in, apparently upset)

  • LeBeau - That's it, mon colonel! I quit! First he orders lunch for one. THEN he orders lunch for two. THEN he DISMISSES me, before I even get a chance to serve the dessert. (looks at Frau Linkmeyer) I realize Fraulein Richter is beautiful, but FOOD is FOOD! (stomps out)
  • Klink - Perfectly innocent, eh?

"Accidents will happen in wartime." (Klink)

Bloopers Edit

  • When Klink is outside greeting the newly arrived General Burkhalter, he is missing his officer's cap. It is standard military protocol in most armed forces of the world, Germany included, for an officer to wear his cap (i.e. "cover") whenever he or she is outdoors.
  • When Frau Richter is getting ready to set up Major Karp, she smears lipstck on the palm of her left hand. When she puts her hands on Major Karp's face, the applied lipstick has moved to the fingers of her right hand. (21:55 to 22:17) After she flees the scene, Wolfgang has lipstick on both sides of his face and sweater collar, as well as under his left ear. (22:41) This scene appears to have been shot from three different angles, with Frau Richter's hands disappearing briefly in a cut scene and also under frame in one angle (22:00 to 22:08), in an attempt to account for the obvious visual discrepancies.
  • At 18:09 Hogan and Baker are shown working the radio in the tunnel, despite Klink's new policy of keeping a guard in each barracks 24/7 supposedly shutting off tunnel access. Though it is possible that their guard was Schultz, who could easily be convinced to look the other way.

External links Edit


Previous episode:
The Kamikazes Are Coming
Next episode:
Hogan's Double Life

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