|Major Wolfgang Hochstetter|
|Appearances||Full List of Appearances|
About Major Wolfgang Hochstetter Edit
Wolfgang Hochstetter was born on December 1, 1900 (speculation). In 1931, he joined the Nazi Party, becoming a member of the SS and later the Gestapo, eventually reaching the rank of Major (Sturmbannführer und Kriminalrat). In his early appearances he is working as a special SS investigator out of Berlin. Later, he is assigned to the Hammelburg office of the Gestapo to replace its dead commander, killed in an Allied bombing raid, and it is from there that he will become a major thorn in Hogan's side starting at the end of 1943, and continuing through most of 1944.
Hochstetter is trained as a cryptologist, quickly becoming the top man in his unit. By the time he is made the head Gestapo officer for 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, while he is hated by General Burkhalter. Hochstetter is highly suspicious of all of the sabotage activity that keep occurring around the camp, and at times suspects that Colonel Hogan and his men are behind it, but is never able to prove his suspicions. 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?" when he sees Hogan. More often than not, he usually snarls or screams it. He also refers to Hogan as "the most dangerous man in all Germany."
Hogan would eventually prove to be Hochstetter's downfall, as the more wily American was able to thwart the SS major's every effort to uncover his operations at Stalag 13. The increasing magnitude of his apparent incompetence eventually caused him to get into trouble - first with General Burkhalter, who actually had him arrested at one point, and with his SS superiors on more than one occasion. Near the end of 1944, in his last tangle with Hogan, Hochstetter was tricked into releasing several important prisoners, all important leaders of the underground, by being fooled into believing that the war was over. This was apparently too much for Hochstetter's superiors, who immediately recalled him to Berlin upon receiving the news. Hochstetter's ultimate fate is unknown.
- 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 web site, 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.