Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Christoph Schiessl

Final Abstract for URS Program

When it first debuted in 1965, Hogan’s Heroes was not met with the fondness it later garnered. Set in Stalag 13, a fictional German Luftwaffe (Air Force) prisoner of war (POW) camp during World War II (WWII), the show follows the American POW Colonel Robert E. Hogan and his band of compatriots as they run a secret sabotage operation within the camp under the nose of the inept camp commandant Colonel Wilhelm Klink. Hilarity ensues as Hogan and crew outwit the Germans, portrayed as bumbling idiots, in all sorts of missions, from smuggling prisoners, stealing plans, blowing up trains, and many other operations. However, critics at the time felt the show was disrespectful to survivors and victims of Nazi concentration and extermination camps, as well as to Allied POWS. Moreover, it was seen as romanticizing WWII and by extension the Nazis by portraying them as lovable fools. The purpose of this research project is to investigate the appropriateness of the show, both in the context of the show’s setting and current events, from the view of the show’s cast and crew. Likewise, it will demonstrate how accurately the show depicted life in a German POW camp. Finally, it will examine how Hogan’s Heroes dealt with the Holocaust memory before the topic had hit the mainstream, setting the stage for future works.

Presentation Type

Visual Presentation

Document Type