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Hogan's Heroes

The Gestapo Takeover

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Hogan's Heroes - Title Screen
Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: The Gestapo Takeover
Original Airdate: October 25, 1970
Production Number: 5784-150
Written by: Laurence Marks
Directed by: Irving Moore
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

The Gestapo moves into camp and takes over with plans to send Klink and Schultz to the Russian front.

Plot Details:

The episode opens with the regular Luftwaffe guards of Stalag 13 being replaced with Gestapo ones while one Gestapo Major Strauss goes over the camp's financial records with Klink. The major notes that Stalag 13 spends quite a bit on food (Schultz being a prime example) but that their camp is in order otherwise. Strauss soon calls Hogan in as what he has to say concerns both Klink and Hogan. The Gestapo will be taking control of Stalag 13, and all Luftwaffe personnel will be "reassigned" (aka sent to the Russian Front). Klink is shocked and demands to know who is authorising this takeover. Strauss quite confidently declares his orders come from General Mueller, an important Gestapo officer. Klink phones General Burkhalter in the hopes that he will block the Gestapo (and even going so far as to say they are friends) but Burkhalter hangs up as soon as the word "Gestapo" is mentioned. In shock, Klink wonders aloud how Burkhalter could say "wrong number" after such a long conversation.

The Heroes minus Hogan seem not to care about the takeover as they figure they can carry on their operations without a problem. Hogan however points out that they simply can't fool the Gestapo, and also explains why the Gestapo would be interested in Stalag 13 in the first place: so people like Mueller and Strauss can make fortunes by cutting costs, setting up a black market and suppressing the local merchants. The Heroes still seem to not be taking the situation seriously, but Hogan insists on caution as the Gestapo will no doubt increase camp security. As such, he orders complete radio silence and the tunnels out of camp off limits. Unfortunately for the Heroes, the Gestapo quickly find a tunnel and Hogan is sentenced to a week in the cooler by Strauss as punishment.

However, things could be worse for the American colonel, as he talks with LeBeau over wine and LeBeau's excellent meals. They discuss the tunnel, with LeBeau mentioning that it was an old tunnel they sealed off a year ago and they simply forgot about it. Hogan declares that they will keep better records of their tunnel digging before the conversation turns to the Gestapo. Hogan tells LeBeau that they can't cope with the Gestapo presence, so they will get rid of them. He instructs LeBeau to have Strauss' phone tapped and recordings to be made when he contacts General Mueller. Newkirk is to listen to these recordings and imitate Mueller's voice. Hogan's enjoyable meal soon comes to an end though as the two hear guards approaching, and LeBeau quickly takes Hogan's dishes with him through the Heroes' solitary confinement tunnel. Hogan pretends to be washing his hands as Schultz enters Hogan's cell with his "official" (and quite rancid) dinner. He apologises but insists that the prisoners are being fed poor meals now that the Gestapo are in charge. Hogan quickly gets to work on Schultz and manipulates the hapless sergeant into having Klink work on getting him released.

Hogan's work succeeds and after he is released, he and the Heroes get to work on making it look like the Gestapo have bugged the barracks. Hogan also hears Newkirk's imitation of Mueller with approval. The Heroes convene in time for Schultz and Klink to arrive. Klink tries to enlist Hogan's help in getting rid of the Gestapo, pointing out that they have a common enemy. Klink's offer of course was part of Hogan's plan anyway, and Hogan manipulates Klink (after putting some fear in him by showing him the Gestapo "bug") into allowing Hogan outside of camp. He instructs Klink to tell Strauss it is so Hogan can see a dentist but really it is for them to plan their removal of the Gestapo (or rather, Hogan's removal of the Gestapo). Klink leaves, and Hogan instructs the Heroes to arrange Underground agent Otto Baum to meet Hogan at the Hofbrau tomorrow night, as well as to arrange for some women to distract Klink and Schultz.

The next night at the Hofbrau, the underground women do their job of distracting Klink and Schultz with banter long enough for Hogan to speak with Otto. Otto is aware of the situation at Stalag 13 and pledges his support, as he knows trouble for Stalag 13 would mean trouble for the local underground too. Hogan needs someone who can play the part of General Mueller's aide Captain Geissler as well as Otto to play the part of a Swiss diplomat. Otto agrees to the plan, and points out he can handle playing a Swiss diplomat as he has a Swiss passport (among others). Otto asks what they will do if Strauss decides to check with Mueller about Hogan's plan (which was discussed offscreen) but Hogan assuages Otto's concerns and points out that Newkirk can imitate Mueller well enough to cover that.

The next day Otto arrives in camp and speaks with Strauss, claiming to be a Swiss diplomat in negotiations with General Mueller and that he was supposed to meet him at Stalag 13. Strauss calls Mueller and is instructed by Mueller (aka Newkirk) to sign the agreement the two have made up on his behalf, as well as to accommodate the arrival of "Mueller's aide" Captain Geissler. Strauss makes apologies on "Mueller's" behalf and relays what "Mueller" has told him.

The Heroes listen into the meeting between Otto, Geissler and Strauss with the former listing the terms of their negotiation: General Mueller will arrest and if necessary, execute Adolf Hitler. Strauss is shocked and outraged at this but heeds Geissler's suggestion that he listen to the rest of the terms. In exchange for Hitler's subjugation and the surrender of Germany, Mueller will be paid ten million Swiss Francs and given safe passage to Argentina. Strauss is unnerved that his superior would agree to such a deal, but his attitude changed with Geissler informs him that Mueller intends to "take good care" of his friends after the deal is carried out. Seeing that he stands to gain, Strauss signs the deal on behalf of Mueller.

As Otto and Geissler leave, Carter asks them for a cigarette and LeBeau tries to drag Carter away, causing the American sergeant to trip into Geissler's clutches. The two POW's are soon shooed away by a Gestapo guard and they hurry over to the barracks with the deal in hand, their mishap with Geissler merely being a ploy for the deal to change hands without the Gestapo noticing.

Hogan and Klink soon begin to talk and an argument ensues over the deal (which Klink hasn't been able to look at yet). Hogan wants Klink to meet with Generals Burkhalter and Mueller and confront the latter with the deal, but Klink refuses to do so unless he has the chance to read it first. After much discussion, Klink agrees with Hogan and takes the envelope containing the deal.

In Berlin, Burkhalter reads out the deal to General Mueller and despite Mueller's protest of ignorance, offers him an ultimatum: get the Gestapo out of Stalag 13 or face Hitler's wrath. Mueller initially claims that he is not afraid of Hitler as he is a loyal officer and beyond suspicion. His tune quickly changes when Burkhalter picks up the phone to call Hitler and he agrees to remove the Gestapo from Stalag 13.

The removal of the Gestapo begins when Burkhalter, Klink and Mueller arrive from Berlin and Major Strauss is arrested for treason. Mueller quite bitterly informs Klink and Burkhalter that they have their camp back and sarcastically offers them good luck before leaving. Burkhalter asks Klink how he managed to arrange the fake deal to be made up, but Klink (who much like Burkhalter, has no idea the true events) simply claims he can't reveal how, not even to him. Hogan knowingly quips that he can understand why.

Hogan and Klink walk around camp with the latter rejoicing at how his camp is "as it should be." The wily Hogan suggests Klink should celebrate by allotting more hot water and white bread to the prisoners but Klink flatly refuses before demanding to know how Hogan arranged the fake deal. Hogan, echoing Klink's earlier words to Burkhalter claims that he can't reveal how, not even to him, before being angrily dismissed by the Prussian Kommandant.

Story Notes Edit

  • This is both the one hundred and fiftieth produced episode of the series and the one hundred and fiftieth to be shown on television, and is also the sixth episode shown for the Sixth Season.
  • This is the only time in the series that Burkhalter comes to Klink's rescue without any apparent incentive.

Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit

  • This episode takes place in late 1944 or early 1945, per anticipation of German armed forces surrendering, the need to spirit high-level Nazis to a safe haven, and Carter's reference to the collapsed old tunnel that "was sealed off a year ago." There are at least two possible candidates for this tunnel: the one leading to Barracks 3 in I Look Better in Basic Black, and what remains of the original tunnel to Barracks 5, as mentioned in The Merry Widow. Both were sealed off in 1943.
  • This takes place shortly after The Dropouts. At the end of that episode, Hochstetter ordered the SS to take over Stalag 13, following the defection of SS Captain Steiner and the two scientists to the Allies (with Hogan's help). SS Major Strauss would have been sent to Stalag 13 by Hochstetter from the Hammelburg office, although Strauss answered directly to Hochstetter's superior, General Mueller. Once Strauss was free of any interference from Hochstetter, the latter being (presumably) busy with his duties at Hammelburg, that left him free to his own devices. Both Strauss and Mueller appear to have been taking advantage of a situation that quite literally fell into their laps.
  • Klink has cleaned up the camp's books (financial records) by the time the Gestapo formally takes control, and is eager for the Gestapo to inspect them. He must have done a very good job of hiding his frequent use of camp funds for his personal expenses, as is mentioned in other episodes. It also shows that Klink does have a talent for bookkeeping, even if it is of the dishonest kind.
  • Hogan and Schultz's surmises about the origins of the tunnel that Schultz literally stumbles across have a real-life parallel. The actual Stalag 13, Stalag XIII-B, was built on an old German training camp that had originally been built in 1893. Thus, it was present for "the last war" (World War I) and almost, but not quite, for "the one before that" (the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71)

Quotes Edit

  • Klink: We are a Luft Stalag. We do not believe in starvation.
  • Major Strauss: I see. (staring at the rotund figure of Sergeant Schultz)
  • Schultz: I am on a diet, Major.
  • Klink: Oh, yes. Sergeant Schultz only eats three meals a day, just like all the other men.
  • Schultz (smiling): But every meal seems to go right into the next meal, if you know what I mean (loses his smile) ... Sir.
  • Major Strauss (frowns sternly)

  • Hogan: What have you got there? Digging for worms again?
  • Schultz: This is your supper. (looks at it, spoons it up) Eewgh. This is what the Gestapo gives their prisoners now.
  • Hogan: I was right the first time.

  • Newkirk (imitating General Mueller): An excellent report, Strauss. You will be promoted for this, and given an award. Possibly the Purple Weinerschnitzel, with Poached Egg Cluster.

  • Carter: Hey, wait until you hear Newkirk imitate General Mueller! Boy, you could've fooled me.
  • LeBeau: Doesn't require too much talent for that.

  • Hogan: Kommandant, thank you for getting me out of the cooler.
  • Klink: Believe me, for the first time I had to use all of my intelligence and craftiness.
  • Hogah: Yeah, well, I got out anyway.

  • Hogan: We have to find some kind of distraction for Klink and Schultz.
  • LeBeau: Distraction, Colonel?
  • Hogan: Yeah, something to keep them busy. What would do it?
  • Everybody except Carter: GIRLS!
  • Carter (a half-beat later): Girls! That never would have occurred to me.
  • Hogan: Yes, Carter, we know.

Bloopers Edit

  • General Müller's campaign ribbons are clearly haphazard and randomly placed.  For example, he has not one but TWO 4-year Wehrmacht service ribbons next to another (these are the blue bands with the silver Wehrmachtadler, or Army Eagle device on them).  This particular device came in four, twelve, eighteen, and twenty-five year classes (with a special 40-year class awarded a handful of times), and while it was appropriate to wear higher classes simultaneously with lower classes, it was not permissable (or even possible, as each class was only awarded once per recipient) to wear duplicate classes.  In addition, the 1938 Anschluss ribbon immediately following these should be worn before them instead - there was a clear heirarchy to campaign ribbons, which the series' costumiers often saw fit to ignore, as they believed (correctly) that few viewers would even be capable of identifying the different ribbons, let alone knowing the correct order for them.

External links Edit

Previous episode:
Lady Chitterly's Lover, Part 2
Next episode:
Kommandant Schultz

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