|Major Wolfgang Hochstetter|
|Rank||Sturmbannführer and Kriminalrat|
|Enlisted In||Gestapo, Waffen-SS|
|Appearances||Full List of Appearances|
Kriminalrat Wolfgang Hochstetter is a fictional character who is the leader of the local Gestapo and the feared rival of Colonel Klink in the 1960s sitcom, Hogan's Heroes. He was played by Howard Caine.
About Major Wolfgang Hochstetter Edit
Wolfgang Hochstetter was born on December 1, 1900 in Aurich, Germany (speculation). In 1931, he joins the Nazi Party, becoming a member of the SS and later the Gestapo, eventually reaching the rank of Major (Sturmbannführer und Kriminalrat). Initially he is working as a special SS investigator out of Berlin, but later, he is assigned to the Hammelburg office of the Gestapo to replace its dead commander, who has been killed in an Allied bombing raid, and it is from there that he becomes a major thorn in Hogan's side starting at the end of 1943, and continuing through most of 1944.
Hochstetter has been trained as a cryptologist, quickly becoming the top man in his unit. By the time he is made chief of the Gestapo officer in his section of Bavaria which includes both Hammelburg and Stalag 13, he has received the Iron Cross, 1st Class, the War Merit Cross, 1st Class, and a Wound Badge, 1939, which he receives for injuries from his involvement in the Invasion of Poland. He also receives the Golden Party Badge and the SA Sport Badge.
As the head of the local Gestapo, he tries to capture those members of the underground who are involved in attempts to disrupt the German war effort. The methods he uses against them makes him a feared man in his part of Germany; in one episode he remarks dryly, "I'm in the Gestapo - what do I know about law?" He is especially feared by members of the Wehrmacht including Colonel Klink, and by Sergeant Schultz as well, though not by General Burkhalter who, although he hates the Gestapo officer, does seem to have a high respect for him. In fact, most of the animosity between them is caused by Hogan, and to a lesser extent by Klink. Hochstetter is highly suspicious of all of the sabotage activity that keep occurring around the camp, and often suspects that Colonel Hogan and his men are responsible, but is never able to prove it. Even so, LeBeau claims that "Hochstetter is so secretive he won't even talk to himself!"
He often asks, "What is this man doing here?" whenever he sees Hogan. More often than not, he usually snarls or screams it out and in repetition, getting louder each time. He has also referred to Hogan more than once as "the most dangerous man in all Germany."
Hogan proves to be Hochstetter's downfall, as the more wily American manages to thwart the SS major's every effort to uncover his operations at Stalag 13. The increasing magnitude of Hochstetter's apparent incompetence inevitably gets him into trouble - first with General Burkhalter, who actually has him arrested at one point, and with his SS superiors on more than one occasion. Near the end of 1944, in what would be his last tangle with Hogan, Hochstetter is tricked into releasing several important prisoners, each of them a leader of the underground, by being led into believing that the war was over, even lending them his car. This results in Hochstetter being arrested and driven back to his headquarters in Berlin to answer for his actions. This latest charge is evidently too much for Hochstetter's superiors, for he is never heard of again.
- The name Hochstetter is German for "high stepper," a humorous reference to the Nazis' "goose stepping" way of marching in formation.
- Major Hochstetter is often shown in a black Gestapo uniform despite that uniform being abolished in 1939.
- According to the website The International Encyclopedia of Uniform and Rank Insignia around the World, and their pages showing the insignia of the General SS and the Waffen-SS Major Hochstetter wears the collar insignia of an SS Colonel, but the shoulder insignia of an SS Major. (Link to one of the SS insignia pages on the aforementioned site: General SS Insignia 1933-1934.) In some of the early episodes of the series he is wearing a proper SS colonel's insignia. This might have come about from his uniform being recycled from SS Colonel Feldkamp, whom Caine portrayed in The Battle of Stalag 13. Hochstetter first appears in uniform with its now-familiar mixed and incorrect insignias in the fourth season episode, To the Gestapo with Love.