Re: Visits to concentration camps #holocaust


Oddly enough, the 1965-1971 American television show "Hogan's Heroes," created by Jews (Bernard Fein & Albert S. Ruddy), appears to have been one of the first efforts to bring the Holocaust out of the shadows.  The cast included Jews who escaped Europe (Werner Klemperer [Klink], John Banner [Schultz], Howard Caine [Hochstetter], Leon Askin [Burkhalter]) and a camp survivor (Robert Clary [Frenchie]).  They thought humor and showing the Nazis as bumblers (rather than heartless, cold-hearted murderers) would provide an indirect and subversive avenue to vent against the Nazis and start speaking about the unspeakable horrors.

Werner Klemperer, who played Colonel Klink, reportedly accepted the part only on condition that Klink was portrayed as an unsuccessful fool.  His obituary explains his role:
Werner Klemperer, actor whose role as Col Wilhelm Klink in Hogan's Heroes dominated his eclectic career in television, film and theater, dies at age 80; photo (M)

Robert Clary ("Frenchie") was the sole survivor of his family of two parents and 11 siblings.

Carolynn Duffy

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