My Ten Favorite TV Characters: Major Hochstetter (#8)

@FourWalls (13337)
United States
September 12, 2016 8:27pm CST
Onward through the list of my ten favorite TV characters. I'm so happy to see that Scott (@teamfreak16 ) has picked up on this idea and joined in. Make sure you read his posts as well, and do not miss his music posts! Anyway, here's my next character. #8: Major Hochstetter The terror of the Gestapo, Major Wolfgang Hochstetter stormed into Stalag 13, screaming, "I shall surround this camp with a ring of steel!!" and yelling, "What is this man doing here!?!?!?????!!!!" every time Colonel Hogan walked in the office. I loved Hogan's Heroes. I still do. It's one of the very few TV series that I own in its entirety on DVD. Controversial when it first came out (because some people didn't know the difference between a prisoner of war camp and a concentration camp), it quickly became a favorite in the ratings. One of the things that may surprise a lot of people is that several of the actors playing the Germans in the series were Jewish. In fact, Werner Klemperer (Klink), Leon Askin (Burkhalter), and John Banner (Schultz) actually had to flee Europe in the 1930s with the rise of Hitler. Another thing about the show -- and poetic justice in my opinion -- is the only surviving original cast member is Robert Clary (LeBeau), who, as Robert Widerman (his birth name), was interred in Buchenwald as a teenager. (He's currently 90 years old.) Howard Caine, who played Hochstetter, was also Jewish. Born Howard Cohen in Nashville, the other "un-Jewish" thing about him is he was a banjo player. He played Hochstetter as well as he played the banjo. A Tasmanian Devil-like tornado every time he roared into Stalag 13, Major Hochstetter wasn't as easily fooled as Colonel Klink or Sergeant Schultz (who could be bought off with an ego-stroking compliment or a chocolate bar, respectively). He was still a comic foil, however, as this was a sitcom (believe it or not). Hogan's Heroes did set the stage for the classic M*A*S*H by mixing war and comedy. Certainly Hogan's Heroes was more lighthearted thanks to great characters like Major Hochstetter -- but it was still war. Major Wolfgang Hochstetter Portrayed by Howard Caine From Hogan's Heroes CBS, 1966-1972 Major Hochstetter getting his, along with brilliant bootlicking of Colonel Klink:
From Season 3, Episode 14, "Everybody Loves a Snowman". Always a good time when the Major is around.
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2 responses
@JohnRoberts (54425)
• Los Angeles, California
27 Sep 16
Klemperer was the son of famous conductor Otto if memory serves.
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (13337)
• United States
27 Sep 16
That is correct. And to show Hitler's obsessive evil, Otto married a Catholic woman and converted religiously to Catholicism, but he still had to flee.
@msiduri (5754)
• United States
28 Sep 16
I didn't know that. I'll carry the picture Maj. Hochstetter playing the banjo around in my head for a while now.
1 person likes this