"Standartenführer, I would respectfully like to say, that these men are legitimate prisoners of war and, as such, they are under Luftwaffe protection. Yes, I understand that, but these are American and British soldiers; their governments would surely protest. But, I don't know how to tell…yes,Standartenführer, I understand, by this evening." Klink, his hands shaking, hung up his telephone. He opened the door and asked his aide to have someone fetch Colonel Hogan immediately. Still reeling from the orders given to him over the phone by the SS officer, Klink returned to his desk and poured himself a glass of brandy.

Kinch flew up the ladder connecting the tunnel under their barracks to his bunk. "Where's Colonel Hogan?"

"He's at the mess hall, meeting with some of the barracks chiefs," said Lebeau. "What's the matter?"

Kinch was almost out of breath. "LeBeau, the Jewish prisoners; they're going to relocate the Jewish prisoners. I heard it on the phone tap."

LeBeau tore out of the door to the barracks, and into the mess hall. "Colonel, we need you in the barracks, right now, sir."

Hogan, seeing the agitation present on LeBeau's face, gave the men in the mess a quick glance, and followed the Corporal out of the room and into the compound. Moving at a quick pace, they headed towards the barracks, only to run headlong into Schultz. "Schultz," Hogan stated, "Something needs my attention in here, right now."

"I'm sorry, Colonel Hogan, but the Kommandant needs to see you right away. You see, he is very upset and I think he needs something from you…"

Hogan was adamant. Nimbly stepping around the large Sergeant at Arms, he entered the barracks and closed the door. "Better make this quick."

Quickly and quietly, Kinch told Hogan the news." Sir, I heard something on the phone tap. An SS officer ordered Klink to round up all Jewish prisoners for relocation."

"My God." Hogan was stunned. "I'd better go with Schultz. This is why Klink wants to see me." By then, Schultz, who was being partially detained by several prisoners outside the door, had seen enough. He managed to open the door to the barracks, only to find Hogan exiting the building.


"Over my dead body."

"Hogan, you can't be serious. Think of what you're saying."

"No, Kommandant. Think of what you're asking me to do. Turn over some of my men to the SS for relocation? And I hate to think what that means."

Klink's nerves were shot. He had never seen his senior POW officer this angry. "Hogan, please. They will be here by this evening. I have no records. The prisoners never marked their religion on their cards." Klink continued to plead. "Hogan, I haven't actually run this camp totally by the book. It should have been segregated. What if they come and find out when they get here? There must be some Jewish prisoners in the camp. Out of eight-hundred men? You must know."

"I don't make a habit out of asking my men their religion!" Hogan was now yelling. "Like I said, Kommandant - over my dead body!" At that, Hogan headed for the door.

"Hogan, you haven't been dismissed." Hogan looked at the visibly upset Kommandant with disdain and left the office.


Hogan's wheels began to turn even before he made it back to the barracks. He motioned for his most trusted men to follow him into his office. Closing the door, he faced the four of them. "They'll be here by this evening. How many Jewish prisoners do we have in camp? Do any of you know?"

They all shook their heads. "Twenty, thirty," suggested LeBeau. "How will they find out, Colonel?" He realized the prisoners had never marked their religion on their records.

"They'll have to go through all the cards and use names as a starting point, and then they'll inspect each barracks and check everyone's dog tags," Hogan responded.

"If we had more time," Newkirk said, "We could make fake dog tags, but we'd 'ave to know which prisoners would need 'em.

"Goldman might have an idea, Colonel."

"No." Hogan responded, "I don't want this spread around just yet. We'll have to work fast. Kinch, get as many of our boys as you can from here to spread out to every barracks, and collect all the dog tags; all of them, you got that? Don't tell them why; just say it's an order. Have them keep the tags organized, but bring them back to the tunnels and store them. Then get back downstairs and stay on that phone tap. Carter, get Olsen in here and have him listen to the coffee pot. Then I want you and LeBeau to get the barracks chiefs in here, a few at a time. They're the only ones that might know who we have in the camp. We don't have time to look through all the tags. Newkirk, get downstairs and start making up false papers and civilian outfits, enough for forty at least. Get someone in the barracks to help you. Oh and wait, before you go, make sure Kinch gets your tags."

"Sir?" Carter had just realized something.


"Sir, there's something else the SS will be looking for."

Hogan immediately realized what Carter was referring to.

Kinch also realized it, but Newkirk and LeBeau looked confused.

"Circumcisions." Hogan whispered.

"There's going to be a lot more than thirty or forty men caught if they go that way, Colonel," Kinch said.

"Colonel? I don't understand."

"LeBeau, it's common in the states. It's not just a religious ritual." Hogan was now trying to figure out how to get past this problem.

"But would the SS realize it?"

"Doesn't matter," Hogan said. "First, they wouldn't care, and they'd grab any Europeans we have; that's for sure. No one gets taken. Let's get those tags and let me think."

Hogan came up with a plan while he was waiting for the chiefs to start coming in. He had Kinch notify the Underground and ask them to delay the SS convey. "Any time we can buy, Kinch, is better than nothing. But tell them not to risk anyone." Kinch relayed the order.

Within five minutes, collected tags began showing up in the tunnels, and the first barracks chiefs climbed through the bunk entrance.

The four barracks chiefs that hustled over to Barracks two were understandably anxious. Corporal LeBeau had shown up without warning through their tunnel entrances and basically ordered them over, no questions asked. As quickly as he came, he left. All of their instincts told them this was not a drill.

Hogan had no idea how to ask them the question. No explanations, just throw it out. "I need to know if you have any men in your barracks who are, who are…Jewish."

The men looked at Hogan. He was serious, deadly serious.

Joe Crowley, a Corporal in charge of Barracks 15 was the first to speak up. "Greenberg, sir. That's it."

Rogers from 12 spoke next. "Pasternak."

The other two were positive they had none.

Hogan ran his hand through his hair. He was beginning to sweat. "Tell Greenberg and Pasternak to get in the tunnels and check in with Newkirk."

Garth came up through the bunk. "Sir, the next group is here."

"Send them up."

This ritual continued until every barracks chief was questioned. After an hour, 37 British, American, and French men were hidden in the tunnels. There was no way at this point to hide what was going on. Men who had never openly discussed their religion came forward and headed down below.


Hogan found himself back in Klink's office. He stood there stiffly, staring at the Kommandant.

"Colonel Hogan, the SS will still be here tonight. Later than I anticipated. The convoy ran into a problem. But they are still coming." Klink could not believe he was asking this question. He already knew the answer. "Did you do as I asked?"

"There are no Jewish prisoners in camp, and I already told you, sir, I don't ask people their religion. It's their business."

Klink got up from his chair and moved in front of the desk. "Hogan, I know what you are trying to do, but if we don't comply with the SS, other things could happen. The other prisoners could pay, Hogan. Do you understand that?"

No response.

"Hogan, I am not an ignorant man. I know the names of some of the men in camp. I know we have men from New York, London. They'll look at names. They'll conduct a strip search." Klink was now standing less than a foot away from Hogan. He noticed something. "Colonel Hogan, where are your tags?"

"In a safe place, sir."

He took all the tags.

"You are forbidden to remove dog tags. You know that. I'm ordering you to retrieve them immediately. All of them."

"I'm sorry, Kommandant. They're in a safe place, but I sort of forgot where we put them, sir."


Newkirk and whomever he could find that could thread a needle were frantically trying to outfit all 37 prisoners hidden in the tunnels. Meanwhile, he was supervising forgers. The men needed civilian outfits, papers and money if they would make it out of Germany alive.