Kommandant Schultz
Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: Kommandant Schultz
Original Airdate: November 01, 1970
Production Number: 5784-149
Written by: Laurence Marks
Directed by: Marc Daniels
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

Schultz lets his new power as camp kommandant go to his head.

Plot Details Edit

The prisoners of Stalag 13 have been called to do work on the road outside of camp under the command of Schultz. As they work, they are approached by a travelling farmer looking to sell his hay in town. The farmer gets into a discussion with Schultz about the war, citing it is too expensive, and prompting Schultz to suggest the farmer writing to Hitler if he can think of a cheaper way to conquer the world. As Schultz is distracted, the Heroes sneak a package and an Underground agent out from the back of the farmer's (also an agent) cart. They quickly dress the man in a uniform and get back to work. After the detail is finished, Schultz counts the prisoners and naturally finds one extra, though he discusses this with Hogan, the wily American suggests Schultz counted incorrectly when they went out, reasoning why someone would sneak INTO a prison camp. 

Later in the tunnels, the Heroes and Underground agent Hercules are discussing the package they stole. It is a block of zinc oxide with a high percentage of uranium. Hercules explains that the Germans are having many blocks made up for atomic research, and also that London wants both a sample (the block the Heroes now possess) and the locations of the German research facilities. Hercules knows where twenty-two such facilities are, but for operational safety he must give them up to London in person. Hogan suggests that the information is important enough that London will send a plane that night, but Baker shoots down this idea as he has heard from London that a massive storm has forced all Allied aircraft to be grounded for at least 48 hours. Hogan then simply states that Hercules will have to wait the two days out in the tunnels and invites him to make himself at home. 

Soon after, General Burkhalter arrives in camp with orders for Klink. Effective immediately, all military establishments are to give officers training to their senior non-commissioned officers, with full responsibilites of their posts. Klink protests the orders, declaring them to be insane, but recants once he learns the orders have come from Hitler himself. Schultz asks what the orders mean for Stalag 13, to which Burkhalter replies that Klink is to hand over command of Stalag 13 to its senior non-commissioned officer for one week. The question is then presented: who is this non-commissioned officer? The answer: Schultz. Klink cannot bring himself to speak of the matter, and Burkhalter simply declares that they "are in a lot of trouble" a statement Schultz agrees with completely. Klink angrily tries to avoid handing over command, with Schultz doing his best to worm his way out too, but they are both overruled by Burkhalter. The orders have been made by Hitler and as such, the matter is settled.

Schultz meets with Hogan later and tells him the news, to which a sympathetic Hogan listens to Schultz' worries that he will not be able to handle his new authority or the prisoners. Hogan promises to keep the prisoners in line and inspires Schultz with a pep-talk about how sergeants really run the army.

The next day at roll call, Kommandant Schultz, complete with an officer's cap, riding crop and monocle, makes his first address as camp commander. His authoritative and cold-hearted address also includes threatening Newkirk with the cooler for speaking out of turn, as well as informing the prisoners that the perimeter guards have been doubled with shoot-on-sight orders. After Schultz' address, Burkhalter approvingly discusses Schultz' performance with Klink while the Heroes too discuss the matter among themselves. The Heroes seem quite annoyed by the sudden change in Schultz, and more so due to the doubled guard. The increased guard means the Heroes can't use the tunnel safely to get Hercules out of camp, but Hogan soon decides to use Schnitzer and his dog-truck to smuggle Hercules out. As Baker rushes off to arrange it all, Newkirk quips that there is more than one way around Schultz, to which Hogan states that "no matter which route you take, it's a long trip."

Hogan gives Hercules his instructions and soon enough, Schnitzer arrives. He doesn't get very far into the camp however, as Schultz stops the truck and has the guards unload the truck, as such, Hercules can't get anywhere near it. Hogan declares that Schultz will break their entire operation soon before informing, yet again that Hercules will have to wait. 

Some time later, Schultz is on the phone with General Burkhalter, and helping himself to Klink's brandy and cigars at the same time. Klink almost strikes Schultz for this, but refrains at the last second and lights Schultz' cigar instead. 

In just a few short days, the power of command has gone to Schultz' head and manifests itself in ugly ways. During an inspection he places Newkirk and LeBeau whom he normally is on good terms with, on report for failing to stand when speaking to him. He angrily rounds on Carter for throwing a baseball at the office sign. In short, Schultz has become the tough efficient officer that the Heroes have feared for years. The Heroes are angry, but take comfort in that the week will soon be up and Schultz will be back to his old rank. Hogan however suggests that perhaps Schultz will not be relieved of his command, figuring that the officers training for all the camps is so the proper Kommandants will be sent off to combat zones. The idea of Schultz being Kommandant permanently is a formidable one indeed, and as such, Hogan decides that since they can't get around Schultz, they must discredit him, with help. Who is to help them? Colonel Klink!

Hogan relays his theory of the training to Klink, who is taken in by the suggestion that he could be sent off to fight. After sufficient manipulation, Hogan plants the idea that Klink's only way to survive is to discredit Schultz and a deal is worked out. Klink will have the patrols outside the camp stopped and the prisoners will fake an escape. After hearing the last bit, Klink becomes reluctant, thinking that Hogan is using him to affect a real escape. But Hogan assures Klink that the deal is legitimate, pointing out that the prisoners are being pushed around by Schultz too and thus both parties win something. The nail is driven in when Hogan declares Klink could think it over and write him when he is in Minsk. The fearful Klink agrees with the deal, and consents to handle the patrols, though he does state that being Schultz' errand boy could make him cry, to which Hogan points out that his monocle will rust if he does. 

The next day, true to his word, Klink has the patrols stopped, and so, Hogan arranges for a plane to pick up Hercules that night as well as the Heroes to arrange the escape. LeBeau voices that they will be in trouble if their attempt fails, but Hogan points out, they at least will have Klink for company.

That night, LeBeau, Newkirk and Hercules all make their way out of camp and to the landing zone successfully. Hercules leaves for London and Newkirk and LeBeau stay outside of camp overnight. The escape is found during the morning roll call and Schultz soon falls apart, and tries in vain to find the missing Heroes in the camp even though they are long gone. The attempt is not helped by the fact that the rest of the prisoners start goofing around and Schultz cannot control them, with Klink happily declaring he will report the matter to Burkhalter. 

Burkhalter arrives in camp soon after, and demands to know what Schultz' plan is to find the missing prisoners. Schultz gives a bold declaration that he will find them, but can't provide an idea as to how he will do so. After hearing several unsatisfactory suggestions, Burkhalter decides to relieve Schultz of command, and restore Klink to the position of Kommandant. Klink happily declares that he will find the prisoners, to which the wearied Burkhalter simply asks to be kept informed before leaving. Schultz tries to help himself to one last cigar but gets the box slammed on his hands by the newly empowered Klink. The Prussian colonel happily takes away Schultz' cap, riding crop and monocle before placing a helmet on the heavyset sergeant's head. Schultz tries to defend his actions, but Klink refuses to hear it and starts to dish out revenge. Schultz is to walk a post twelve hours a day, and will not receive any leave for five years (which the war will be extended by if necessary according to Klink). As Klink takes back his throne (or rather, office chair) he notices it is broken, and writes up a bill for Schultz to be garnished from his wages. The bill also includes wine, caviar and cigars which Schultz paid for with the camp treasury funds. With his revenge complete, Klink dismisses Schultz and then asks Hogan where the escaped prisoners are hiding. Hogan however refuses to divulge the information unless Schultz is given a lighter punishment (only 4 hours of daily patrol duty and elligible for leave in one year). Klink flatly denies the proposition, but is forced to accept when Hogan refuses to reveal where Newkirk and LeBeau are hiding. Hogan subtly tells Klink that they will turn up somewhere before leaving.

Baker calls Klink and in a German accent, informs him that the two prisoners are hiding in a local tavern. After being informed of the approaching Germans, the two prisoners take places to sell the deception just as Klink and Schultz burst in, the latter armed with an MP40. Klink annoyedly takes the gun from Schultz, declaring the heavyset sergeant is liable to cause damage, before accidentally firing the gun himself and causing a thousand marks in damage. Newkirk and LeBeau surrender themselves, and Klink orders Schultz to pay the thousand marks as it was he who let the two prisoners escape. 

Some time later, Klink asks Hogan how LeBeau and Newkirk escaped, to which Hogan replies that they pole-vaulted over the wire. Klink and Schultz doubt it, but Hogan presents a nearby wooden pole as proof. Klink takes a look at the fence and brings up the fact that he did pole-vaulting once and the fence looks too high. Hogan insists that this is how the escape was made, and suggests Klink give it a try. The Kommandant happily decides to give it a go and is rewarded with the pole snapping as Hogan and Schultz watch squeamishly at the failed attempt.

Story Notes Edit

  • This is both the one hundred and forty-ninth produced episode of the series, but is the one hundred and fifty-first to be shown on television, and is also the seventh episode shown for the Sixth Season.
  • When Hogan is giving Schultz a pep-talk to help increase his confidence, he is using "The train that thought it could" children's story from The Little Engine That Could.
  • This is the last episodic appearance for Corporal Karl Langenscheidt, although Jon Cedar (the actor portraying him) has one more appearance as Oskar Danzing in "That's No Lady, That's My Spy".
  • Schultz remembers Hogan's advice on how to behave like a proper Prussian ("The Great Impersonation")
  • This is one of the few times we see Schultz with a Schmeisser MP40 sub-machine gun instead of his Krag-Jorgenson rifle.

Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit

  • This episode appears to take place in mid-1944. The orders to let Schultz train as the commandant of Stalag 13 make sense in relationship to the revised orders for Operation Valkyrie by the anti-Hitler conspirators, which greatly expanded the authority of the Home Army and made great changes to what would happen to power and authority if Hitler were assassinated. Scaling this down the ladder of authority, if something were to happen to the officers in charge of Stalag 13 (Klink and Gruber), then the non-commissioned officers (Schultz being the senior sergeant) would have to take over - which is what is stated in the episode. As silly as it seems, letting a non-commissioned officer run a prison camp, it makes sense when viewed in light of the Valkyrie revisions.

Quotes Edit

Bloopers Edit

  • There is a wonderful, wide panning shot of Stalag 13 that opens this episode. You can also see a lot of other things in the background, above the tree line, that shouldn't be there if this was not a filming lot! A post-WW2 car is visible beyond the camp's water tower.
  • After Klink divests Schultz of his temporary command, Klink's monocle is absent, but mysteriously appears just before he places Schultz's helmet upon his head.
  • When Kommandant Schultz first addresses the men of Barracks 2, he is incorrectly wearing an officer's peaked cap (known as a Schirmmütze in German) - this is evidenced by the silver bullion piping around the brim of the cap and the braided bullion chinstrap across the visor.  In addition, Klink - who is visible in the background - is wearing a Schirmmütze without any braiding at all.  Obviously, Schultz is wearing Klink's cap, and Klink is wearing a 'background' cap not meant for close-ups.

External links Edit

Previous episode:
The Gestapo Takeover
Next episode:
Eight O'Clock and All Is Well