Series: Hogan's Heroes
Episode: War Takes a Holiday
Original Airdate: January 27, 1968
Production Number: 5784-84
Written by: Art Baer & Ben Joelson
Directed by: Bruce Bilson
Produced by: Edward H. Feldman & William A. Calihan

Regular Edit

Prisoners Edit

Camp Personnel Edit

Semi-Regulars Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Synopsis Edit

In order to get the Gestapo to release its prisoners Hogan tricks Klink and Hochstetter into thinking the war is over.

Plot Details Edit

The prisoners of Stalag 13 have been given a pleasant surprise as their "beloved" Kommandant Klink has provided new stoves and mattresses for every barracks in camp. This is a welcome gift indeed as several of the Heroes have several grievances with their old mattresses. Kinch's one is so thin he claims he could use it as a sheet. Newkirk remarks that he has had his for so long that it's like parting with an old friend, and LeBeau claims that his lumpy mattress has left corresponding dents in his body. Hogan confers with Klink over the matter and wants to know what Klink's angle is, as this is an uncharacteristic show of generosity. As Klink explains, Stalag 13 is due for an inspection by a Red Cross representative and he wants a good report for the camp. Hogan muses that Klink will take away the mattresses once the inspector leaves, but Klink replies in the negative (though only because he hadn't thought of it). Klink expresses his opinion that Hogan would make a good prison commander, and Hogan claims he did apply to be one, but was rejected as he passed "the mental test." They are soon interrupted by a Gestapo truck and staff car, the former bearing prisoners and the latter bearing Major Hochstetter. Hochstetter informs Klink that the prisoners just so happen to be four important Underground leaders just as Hogan appears. Hochstetter demands to know why Hogan is with them, but Klink (possibly thinking of Hochstetter's usual "who is this man?" quote) instead opts to introduce the two, despite them being well acquainted. Klink orders Schultz to take Hogan to the barracks before listening to Hochstetter's instructions. The prisoners are to be kept in solitary confinement until a special armed unit arrives to escort them to Berlin. Hochstetter returns to his car, and once again demands to know why Hogan (who is still there) hasn't been removed from his presence. Hogan walks away and is asked by Schultz whether the Underground prisoners will escape Stalag 13. Hogan says he will make Schultz the first to know if they do, but Schultz begs to be the last to know instead.

Some time later in the barracks, the Heroes discuss the current predicament amongst themselves. The Underground prisoners have been locked in the cooler with five guards armed with machine guns waiting outside. LeBeau suggests they dig a tunnel to the cooler, but the idea is shot down as it would take too long. Hogan muses that the cooler is in poor condition and that it should be put in order for the impending Red Cross inspection. LeBeau expresses that he can't see how that will help the Underground prisoners, which is what Hogan wants, as Klink won't see why either. 

Klink meanwhile is busy dictating an efficiency report to Hilda (giving himself a perfect rating, of course). He, then reveals that he has bought a bottle of wine, and asks Hilda to share it with him. Naturally of course, she declines and their conversation is interrupted by Hogan. Klink tries to dismiss Hogan as he hasn't sent for him, and Hogan seemingly taking offence by Klink's attitude, expresses hope that the new camp Kommandant will be a better one. Hogan quickly presses his advantage of Klink's uncertainty by claiming that since the cooler is in poor condition, the Red Cross report would be negative, resulting in a change of command ("The Inspector General always has an extra ticket handy for the Stalingrad Express!"). Klink points out that Hochstetter has made the cooler off limits, but Hogan convinces him to do work on the cooler when Hochstetter isn't around, suggesting new mattresses and stoves be put in. Hogan seals the deal by estimating it wouldn't take Klink's men more than a couple of minutes to do the job, causing the affronted Kommandant to order Hogan to use his own men for the job while Klink supervises, which is what exactly what Hogan wanted. 

A little later, the Heroes are busy at work putting in the new mattresses and taking out the old. Klink orders the men to work faster, fearing Hochstetter will find out, but Hogan talks him up, reminding Klink that he outranks Hochstetter and suggests Klink tell Hochstetter off if he tries to interfere. Just at that minute, Hochstetter arrives demanding to know what the prisoners are doing. Hogan and Klink do their best to head off Hochstetter just as Kinch and Newkirk appear with several oddly shaped mattresses. Hochstetter is puzzled as to why Klink would replace them as according to him, there's nothing wrong with them. After a closer inspection however, he rips one open, revealing one of the Underground prisoners hiding inside. Furious, the menacing Gestapo major draws a line on the ground at the front of the cooler and orders his men to shoot anyone who crosses it, even Klink (who finds himself staring down the barrel of a Mauser machine gun). The Underground prisoners are dragged back to their cells, and Hogan tells Klink that he isn't "wanted around here" when the latter tries and fails to argue with Hochstetter.

Later in the barracks, the Heroes mull over their failure. LeBeau informs the Heroes that Hochstetter has doubled the cooler guard, and Thomas (a prisoner who is in on the Heroes operation) admits defeat. Newkirk also has resigned himself to failure, declaring the Underground men won't get out until the war is over. Hogan is suddenly inspired by Newkirk's words and reveals he has an idea as to how to free the prisoners: end the war!

A little later in the tunnels, Hogan gives the Heroes their parts for their grand scheme. Kinch and Thomas are to take control of the radio station in Hammelburg and read a prepared message at 4:55 pm. Newkirk is to intercept Hochstetter's call to Berlin (after being assured by Hogan that Hochstetter will make a phone call) and LeBeau is to plant a fake newspaper on Schultz. Hogan asks if Hilda has been given her part in the plan, to which Kinch replies in the positive. She will be sharing Klink's wine after all and is to turn on Klink's radio just before five o'clock (though she doesn't know the true nature of the request). Kinch also reveals that Hilda has asked for a pound of coffee and six pairs of nylon stockings as payment, prompting Newkirk to declare "ain't love grand?" Satisfied with their knowledge of the plan, the Heroes depart for their various objectives.

As five o'clock nears, Hilda does her job after tasting Klink's wine by turning on his radio after effortlessly charming the hapless Kommandant. As she does, Thomas and Kinch quickly incapacitate the two men working at the radio station and interrupt Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries as Kinch in a German accent, announces a breaking news bulletin: Armistice has been declared, and the Second World War is over. Thomas promptly destroys the radio station's broadcasting equipment and they flee as Klink joyfully celebrates the news.

Hogan, Hochstetter and Klink discuss the news in the latter's office. Hochstetter isn't sure whether the news is genuine and thinks Klink has made a mistake, as they speak, Hogan sabotages the radio. Klink tries to prove the news is genuine and turns on the radio, only to hear nothing, and so Hilda is called in to verify the armistice announcement. Hilda however claims she can't remember as she had "other things on her mind" at the time, greatly pleasing Klink. Hogan asks if there is any way they can confirm the announcement, causing Hochstetter to suggest his superior officer, Colonel Baumburg. Hochstetter makes a call, which Newkirk intercepts and takes up the guise of Baumburg. Newkirk "confirms" that the war is over, and sells the deception with a recording of a loud party, making it seem that "Baumburg" is in the middle of a victory celebration (indeed, Newkirk drinks several glasses of wine and falls off his chair during the call). Klink, and now Hochstetter truly believe the war is over, but Hogan laughs at the idea and claims that Hochstetter is simply trying to trick the prisoners into leaving camp, so the Gestapo has the excuse to shoot them. As they speak, LeBeau approaches Schultz who has collected the camp's mail pouch and switches the newspaper with a fake one after distracting Schultz with some chocolate. As LeBeau leaves, Schultz takes one look at the caption on the front of the newspaper "The war is over" and joyfully shouts it to the whole camp. 

Hogan meanwhile is still feigning reluctance to believe the war is over (or is it sincerity?) citing his belief that the prisoners will be shot if they try to leave. They are interrupted by Schultz however who declares the war is over, and hands over the newspaper to Klink. The Kommandant presents it to Hogan as proof of the war's end who simply declares that he doesn't know what to think. Schultz tries to take one of Klink's cigars, and is rewarded with the humidor lid being slammed onto his fingers, with Klink reminding Schultz that he hasn't been discharged yet. The conversation soon turns to what they will each do now that the war is "over". Klink remarks that he will try to get a job as a bookkeeper in a large company, and Schultz declares he will return to the toy factory he previously worked in, which was seized by the government for the war effort. The Schatze Toy Company, was the largest toy company in Germany prior to the war as Klink explains it, and he asks if Schultz's boss would give him his job back. Schultz knowingly replies in the positive and reveals that he in fact owns the company. The shocked Klink offers Schultz a cigar and tries to worm his way into Schultz' good books, knowing the opportunity that lies before him (though he snidely refuses to give Hochstetter one). Hogan however still claims he doesn't believe the war is over, and insists to wait around a while, despite Klink declaring him a free man. Hogan does however take the time to convince Hochstetter to free the Underground prisoners, reasoning it would help the Gestapo's image if he did. The ruse works, and Hochstetter leaves to do so, causing Hogan to declare himself a believer of the war's end.

A little later, Hogan, Klink and Hochstetter leave the office to find the prisoners celebrating with the camp guards. Klink happily declares that no one ever wants to leave Stalag 13, and Hochstetter is simply stunned that none of the prisoners have left. Hogan quickly approaches his men, and the Underground leaders, ordering the latter to get out of camp as quickly as possible. One of the leaders cheerfully remarks that the war is over, but Hogan points out that it is only over due to the Heroes' work and once Klink and Hochstetter find out, it will be back on. As the leaders go to leave, Hogan gets an idea and asks Hochstetter to lend his car to the prisoners, offering to pay for it if it isn't returned. Hochstetter agrees after Hogan suggests that the Underground leaders are important businessmen and they will owe him a favour for it. Just as the leaders leave, and Hochstetter, Hogan and Klink return to the latter's office, a staff car enters the camp bearing one Inspector General Busse who has arrived to inspect the camp. Busse is outraged at the antics of Stalag 13's inmates and confronts Klink over it. After giving Klink a lecture about discipline, he turns his attention to Hochstetter and compliments him over the capture of the Underground leaders. Hochstetter accepts the compliment gratefully but remarks that the capture means little now that the war is over. Busse does a double-take before declaring not only is the war not over, but that American bombers attacked Berlin half an hour ago. Hogan quickly gets to work, and "reminds" Hochstetter that he let the Underground leaders go free, causing Busse to threaten Klink and Hochstetter with severe punishment. However, Hogan quickly springs to Klink's rescue and points out that all of Klink's prisoners are still inside the camp. Klink, happy that he has caught a break, dashes to the window and shouts for the gate to be closed as the war is back on. Busse focuses solely on Hochstetter and demands the Gestapo major to follow him to Berlin in his car. Hochstetter starts to follow Busse out, then halts as he remembers that he lent his car to the Underground leaders. Hogan smoothly informs Busse of it, forcing Hochstetter to be a passenger in Busse's car as they leave.

Several days later, Klink confers with Hogan about the week's events, astounded that the Underground could have created such a hoax. Hogan pretends to be surprised that they fooled the Gestapo, while Klink claims he was not surprised. They are interrupted by Schultz who takes one of Klink's cigars, addresses him by his first name and expresses hope that Klink will not be fooled if he ever wants to work at the Schatze Toy Company. Klink simply gives an angry stare, prompting Schultz to put the cigar back and leave. Hogan however takes a cigar for himself, and refuses to give it back, using Klink's insult to the Gestapo as leverage. Klink angrily leaves the office, and Schultz naturally swipes a cigar before declaring "he would be a lousy bookkeeper" as Hogan lights their cigars.

Story Notes Edit

  • This is the eighty-fourth produced episode of the series, but is the eighty-third to be shown on television and the twenty-first episode shown for the Third Season.
  • Carter doesn't appear in this episode. His character is instead replaced by Thomas, played by William Christopher known mainly for his role as Father Mulcahy in CBS's M*A*S*H.
  • Hochstetter wears two different outfits in this episode - his Gestapo plainclothes, and (in its first appearance) his "Hammelburg uniform." This is the one with the infamous mismatched rank insignia on its collar.
  • The four Underground leaders rescued are Widen from Austria, Albins from Belgium, Calarusso from Italy and Bilet from France.

Timeline Notes and Speculations Edit

  • This episode may take place in late November of 1944. Very old mattresses are being replaced at the start. The SS roundup of important leaders of the underground corresponds to German actions in the days following the Normandy invasion, moving all of their important prisoners out of reach of the invading Allied armies. However, Hogan's reference to the "Stalingrad Express" (as he convinces Klink to refurbish the cooler) suggests a 1942 setting. The radio announcer dedicates a playing of "Ride of the Valkyries" to "victorious" German troops on the Russian Front, and the calendar behind him appears to be for 1942.
  • We learn more about Schultz's background in this story than in any other episode. He was a successful businessman between the wars, eventually rising to the presidency of the Schatze Toy Company, which was the biggest and most profitable toy company in all of Germany. Schatze was taken away from Schultz by the Nazi Party (probably due to his being a Social Democrat, per Six Lessons from Madame LaGrange) and turned into an armaments factory. Schultz was forced to re-enlist in order to provide some kind of living for his family.
  • Klink reveals that he became a competent bookkeeper even after failing the qualifying exam the first time he took it (Kommandant of the Year), as he bucks for a bookkeeping job with Schultz after the war. Klink's poor bookkeeping skills are explored heavily in Standing Room Only as he had been "borrowing" from the camp treasury for his own purposes. However, by The Gestapo Takeover he has cleaned up his books enough to fool the Gestapo.
  • Chronologically, this may be the last appearance by SS Major Hochstetter in the series. He is recalled to Berlin at the end of the episode and never seen again for the rest of the war (although he returns for many episodes produced after this one). Other of his actions had already been called to question prior to this, even by General Burkhalter (Six Lessons from Madame LaGrange). The SS itself begins to question Hochstetter's behavior, and he actually gets disciplined by them at one point (One Army at a Time). Hochstetter would have never survived an SS investigation of his actions in this episode, even though he had been duped by Hogan.
  • SPECULATION. There never was a rank in the SS corresponding to the insignia seen on Hochstetter's new uniform, first seen in this episode. He is wearing an SS unit patch on the right of his collar, and a colonel's leaf on the left. A reasonable, if speculative, explanation for this can be found in the ranks of the SD, and the rarely awarded position of SD-Leiter. Perhaps Hochstetter, as the head of the Hammelburg Gestapo, now held the (fictional) rank of SS-Leiter. This would have given him the franked rank of a colonel (although he is still addressed as "Major") and would have made him at least equal, if not superior, to Klink in authority.

Quotes Edit

"I can't believe it!"

Bloopers Edit

When LeBeau swaps Schultz's newspapers, a palm tree is seen. The camera was facing west, toward Lucerne Avenue in Culver City (two large palms, either one of which could have been the tree seen in this episode, stand at Lucerne near its junction with Higuera Street).

External links Edit

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Sticky Wicket Newkirk
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Duel of Honor