Stalag 13 Gazette
Vol. 2, No. 7
April 1, 1945
Editor: Sergeant Rubinstein, Barracks 12.
We are now officially out of: fresh eggs, powdered eggs, writing paper, coffee, schnapps, spam, mushrooms, canned peaches, paper napkins, caviar, ink, paper clips and toilet paper.
Missing: Captain Gruber, who left in search of toilet paper and never returned; and three guards who left to go look for Captain Gruber.
We've finally discovered Colonel Hogan's exact birth date. Yes, it's true! And, it was his own fault. Colonel Hogan ordered Sergeant Carter to "volunteer" for cleanup duty. While dusting the Kommandant's outer office, Carter got a quick glimpse of the Colonel's file, which was left open on Hilda's desk!
Drum roll please! July 13, 1905.
Here's hoping the Colonel will be able to celebrate at home with his family.
All posters must be turned in and will be (sorry fellas) ripped up for other purposes. Any prisoners caught hiding posters of Veronica Lake in tubes in their mattress, will be getting KP duty and 200 pushups.
A Luftwaffe colonel heading west to escape the Russians stopped into camp the other day. He ask for temporary asylum, which was initially refused by Klink, who whined, "we have our own problems," but quickly changed his mind, when the colonel, who revealed himself to be Johann Schmidt, dumped 20 pounds of paperwork on Klink's desk.
Colonel Hogan would like to reassure Kommandant Klink that his idea of wind up Hitler dolls that say "I surrender" was just a joke and yes, it was in bad taste. –ch
Pay no attention to the rumbling!! Or the ground shaking.
Kommandant Klink requests that all lighters be turned in. Prisoners may keep matches. Colonel Hogan is fighting this request and is still waiting for an explanation.
Kommandant Klink's reply: "I am under no obligation to explain anything!"
Colonel Hogan: "If you need fuel to burn papers, all you have to do is ask."
Updated prisoner count: 1012. I know we are now overflowing, but chin-up, the end is in sight! Hopefully.
Rations are being cut again! Extras are being sent to the infirmary. Sergeant Wilson appreciates everyone's cooperation.
Sergeant Schultz has been moping around the compound lately and does not seem to be his usual jolly self. When asked why, he replied, "I fear that in the near future, my services as the Kommandant's food tester will no longer be required." He then asked me if I had Corporal Lebeau's new business card.
Yes, Lebeau has been passing these out. Seems he already has a location picked out for his restaurant.
Top Ten List: From Private Letterman:
We asked around the camp for answers to the "most missed items while at
Stalag Luft 13" and the "first thing you're going to do when you get out
of here" surveys, and here are the results: (submitted by Lizzie)
Most missed while at Stalag Luft 13:
9. Real food
8. Real beds (with clean sheets!)
6. Being around family and friends
4. Cats (they don't bark!)
The top answers for the first thing "you're going to do when you get out
9. Build a sand castle at the beach
8. Eat a banana/orange
7. Take a bath
6. Sleep for a year
5. Go to the pub
4. Hang out with family and friends
3. Visit Schultz's toy factory
2. Take a girl to the cinema
1. Kiss Fräulein Helga
(Note from Editor: I'm suspicious about nos. 3 and 1. While we are all fond of Schultz and Helga, who as everyone knows, got married and moved, I can't help but think that would not be the first thing we would do. Personally, I think I would kiss the ground in NY, but that's my opinion.)
Burn after reading! Unless it's over!!!!
Mandatory combat drills are now being held in the REC hall for all prisoners. The schedule is posted outside. These are being disguised as hygiene lectures. In case of the unlikely event that Klink decides to fight for the camp, everyone needs to be prepared. In addition, we have no idea what orders will be sent from Berlin. This is a more dangerous situation, but unlike other camps, we have the means to fight back.
The Nimrod pool: make your bet before the war is over! Even Major Hochstetter has received a vote now, which pretty much means ANYONE is eligible.. k
From Colonel Hogan: I asked London to drop a supply of toilet paper and coffee, but I was laughed at. Sorry. I used the morale excuse, and the, "we are all volunteers" excuse. Again, I was laughed at. They did agree to drop boxes of rations, which have been picked up, and are now stored in the tunnels. London has informed me that this may be the last drop. The front is now getting too close.
If anyone has any REASONABLE ideas on what to do with the tunnels please see Col. Hogan. Thus far we have had filling them with: water, Jell-o, and copies of Mein Kamph. --l
April 7, 1945
Klink is no longer censoring this. He doesn't care anymore. As you can see, I started this on April 1st, but was unable to print it, due to the ink and paper shortage. But, Schnitzer made a delivery. Thanks, Oscar! Everyone should keep these papers to show their grandkids.
A request from Sgt Schultz: please sign the petition in which you state that I have been a good sergeant to all of you prisoners! It will be worth my life when those tanks roll in! --k
Kommandant Klink requests that a similar petition should be held for him. Anyone feel like starting one?—k
Confirmed: American troops have surrounded the Germans in the Ruhr.
No, we are not filling the tunnels with Jello or anything else for that matter. Can't believe you fell for that! Check the date on the Gazette!!! Duh!!! From Colonel Hogan: Gotcha
The tunnels will be blown after we are evacuated, as per orders from London.
More personnel news:
Those three lovely female Gestapo interrogators (dubbed Wolfgang's Angels) have been reassigned. They are now working as a typist, a crossing guard and as a parking officer. Rumor has it, that after leaving camp, they tried to claw each other's eyes out. Ha. Ha. See Colonel Hogan for phone numbers.
From Colonel Hogan: "Not funny. I burned the numbers. Those three will probably end up in jail."
Missing: General Burkhalter. Did he fly the coop? Is he in Argentina? Did he kill himself? Get captured? No one knows. Or, maybe… no it couldn't be… A large majority of prisoners still think he may be Nimrod.
Major Hochstetter was last seen fleeing the area in a staff car. Unfortunately, for him, he headed in the wrong direction and was captured. He was heard yelling, "What are these Sherman tanks doing here?"
Corporal Langenscheidt has mysteriously disappeared. Rumour has it that he has either deserted, or killed himself. Some are fearful that the poor Corporal was mistaken for his cousin Mannheim, the Gestapo aide who killed Freitag. (We did confirm last year that Mannheim was executed, so he should be okay.) Well, we have to admit they looked like each other. (like twins!) Still, there is also the opportunity of him being Nimrod, who at this stage probably has better things to do than guarding a lost prison camp.--k
4 more guards have deserted.
The Liberation Choir will be rehearsing all next week to practice for liberation. If interested, please see Corp. LeBeau. The songs include: "When Johnny Comes Marching Home", "Der Fürher's Face" (Spike Jones), and a song called "Hogan's Heroes" (Your guess is as good as mine on that one guys!).—l
Big gamehunter Cpl LeBeau from Barracks 2 asks anyone to keep an eye out for a White-Russian tiger. If you do see her, don´t be afraid, but just come and tell him: he´ll tame her.
(Col Hogan: she´d better stay away from here!)--k
Clandestine operations have ceased! This is now official! Now it's hurry up and wait.
April 10, 1945
From Colonel Hogan: the Kommandant has informed me that he will surrender peacefully when the time comes. I have in my possession, an official letter of surrender, that has been signed and witnessed.
A poll has been set up to determine the possible date of liberation. The winner gets a free trip to London!--l
All those interested in working on the WELCOME banner for the Allied troops, please see Sgt. Olsen. --l
All those interested in helping out with the surprise "GOODBYE" written in rocks for Col. Hogan please see Sgt. Kinch. --l
To which the Colonel responded: "If you wanted this to be a surprise, why did you put it in the Gazette?"
Rumour has it (and the Kommandant has confirmed it) that the guard dogs will be shot after the liberation. "Trained killers have no place in civilian life," he said. Since we know that these dogs are utterly friendly, anyone who´d like to take one of the dogs home with him can sign up with Cpl. LeBeau from Barracks 2. If necessary, we´ll let the dogs choose their own new boss. –k
Oscar Schnitzer is okay with this, as long as the dogs are not shot. Otherwise, he would have to cross the front lines to rescue them.
Corporal Lizzie's final German lesson:
We have all been waiting to say it, so here it is: For you the war is over - Für Sie, ist der Krieg vorbei
But also, we must remember our manners: Lovely Stalag, I've quite enjoyed my stay here, and I'll recommend this place to my friends - Schönes Stalag, hat es mir sehr gefällt, und ich empfehle es
And don't forget! Will you marry me? - Willst du mich heiraten?
Orders: From Colonel Hogan: no German will be mistreated. We are all better than that!
April 13, 1945
Confirmed: President Roosevelt died yesterday. Vice President Harry S. Truman is now president. A brief memorial service will be held in the mess hall tomorrow morning at 0900.
Colonel Hogan reports that an American battalion is only days away.
April 19, 1945 Liberation Day.
Hey look guys! We made the papers!
From United Press International. Somewhere in the middle of Germany.
"A group of over 1000 multinational Allied prisoners was successfully liberated this morning when an American field artillery battalion (from the 97th infantry division) surrounded the perimeter of Luftstalag 13, a small prisoner of war camp located outside the town of Hammelburg, Germany.
This reporter met up with this battalion in Dusseldorf, the nearest big city, and when told of the proximity of the camp, asked to ride along. Fortunately, there was little resistance and only minor outbursts of fighting as we moved through the region. Tension mounted as we got closer to the camp, since allied soldiers previously met with resistance at other POW camps. In addition, conditions at many camps were brutal, and the liberators often faced the task of caring for thousands of sick and starving soldiers. To my surprise, there was no resistance. Upon entering the compound, battalion commanders found the camp had already changed hands. The remaining guards and command staff were unarmed and lined up in the compound. They were being watched over by a small group of armed prisoners.
An American officer introduced himself as Colonel Robert Hogan, the senior POW officer, and pleasantly asked that no tanks be moved onto the interior of the compound. When asked why, he responded with a request to speak with the battalion commander inside the Kommandant's former office.
The commander and the colonel spoke for few minutes (what they talked about is classified) and then returned to the compound.
"Well," the colonel remarked. "We've been officially liberated." Doors opened and all the prisoners came pouring out and began to celebrate. I am happy to report that all the men were relatively healthy and that all were accounted for. Credit for this happy outcome must go to Colonel Hogan and his staff, as well as the Luftwaffe officer in charge of the camp. (I may receive some flak for reporting this, but this was confirmed later on by Colonel Hogan himself. He wanted to make it clear that the Kommandant, his staff and the guards tried to run the camp in accordance with the Geneva Convention. The colonel does not expect any of them to be charged with war crimes.)
I later found out that Colonel Hogan, of Bridgeport, Connecticut, commanded the 504th Bomber Group and had been a decorated pilot before being shot down over Hamburg. He had been attached to the RAF before the United States entered the war. Why he was imprisoned in a small NCO camp, is still a mystery.
The entire camp population will be evacuated by truck, taken to an airfield, and flown to the Lucky Strike Camp near LeHavre, France.
I waited until the Germans were removed and evacuation teams were brought in, and then followed the battalion further into the interior of Germany."
Contributors to this issue: Snooky, Konarciq, Lizzie, (who provided me with the name of the unit that captured Dusseldorf) and ColHogan
A/N I thoroughly enjoyed putting together these Gazettes and I would like to thank all of you for your contributions. Thank you for all of your reviews. They were overwhelmingly positive and I know everyone appreciated the lighter tone of the newsletters.