Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Hogan's Hebrews

Since I quoted the late, great Sgt. Schultz (aka John Banner) in a recent post, wanted to mention an interesting, ironic fact about the "Hogan's Heroes" television show that he appeared on. Like many American Jews of my age-group, I grew up watching this with some degree of parental disapproval. A silly, humorous show about Germans in WWII didn't strike my Mom as being in the best taste - despite the clear distinction between Nazis and German Luftwaffe, and between concentration camps and POW camps. But I liked the show anyway!

It was well-rumored at the time that Robert Clary, the actor who played prisoner LeBeau, was actually a Holocaust survivor. [If you watch closely, the character is always wearing long sleeves to hide the numbers on Clary's arm.] But what I recently discovered is that all three of the lead German characters on the show - Klink, Schultz, and General Burkhalter - were also played by Jewish actors! In fact, Werner Klemperer, who played Klink, only took the role on the specific contractual condition that Klink would never once come out on top. Given that fact that the show was co-developed by one Bernard Fein - presumably noch a yid - Hogan's Heroes starts to look a lot like "The Producers" - which was viewed by writer/director Mel Brooks as Jewish revenge on anti-semitism via humor. Always one of our best weapons!


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