Hold That Tiger (Schultz's Prayer)
Disclaimer: I do not own Hogan's Heroes. To the best of my knowledge, they still belong to CBS . No copyright infringement is intended, and no money is being made from this story. It is published solely for the entertainment of Hogan's Heroes fans everywhere, and is dedicated to the fantastic actors of the series, many of whom are no longer with us.
Author's note: Just a reminder thatI intend to attempt tags, missing scenes, etc. for various episodes, but will post each as a stand-alone story, because I've no idea how frequently or how many I'll be able to post. Wish me luck. Each tag will include a quick summary of the episode it represents. Also, in this story I use the name Schatze Toy Co. I know I've seen that name in another fanfic story - I think maybe it was in the Games series of stories, but I'm not sure. I'm honestly not sure if the name is original to that series of stories or if it was canon, either. If someone can let me know, I'll repost with the proper credit, or change the company name if needed. (I really like that name. It just seems to fit Schultz perfectly.)
Episode Summary: In the second episode of the series, Hogan and his men plot to steal a new top secret Tiger Tank from the Germans, at least long enough to take it apart, draw a copy of the tank's plans, and put it back together again. An underground agent, also code-named Tiger, is snuck into camp to get the plans out. Tiger turns out to be a very beautiful young woman, which poses some problems for the Heroes, as they have to change their normal routine for sneaking an underground agent in and out of camp. During the process of the mission, it becomes obvious that not only has Sgt. Schultz seen a LOT more than "nothing", but that he has chosen not to report the prisoners' activities to Col. Klink. Although the insinuation in the episode is that he's afraid of getting into trouble for taking bribes, I can't help but wonder exactly what was going through Schultz's mind all of the times he had to "see nothing, and hear nothing, and know nothing." This is the way my imagination plays out that scene.
How did I get myself into this situation? I'm a toy-maker, Lord, not a prison guard! I don't know how to be a prison guard. I don't want to be a prison guard!
And Lord, these men I'm guarding … half of them aren't really even men yet. Some of them can't be any older than my Georg. They're just frightened boys who've had to grow up too fast because of this war. They're not criminals, God. They don't deserve to be locked up in this awful place. They're just soldiers who were doing their jobs.
How did my country come to this, Lord? I'm a loyal German citizen, God. I love my country and my heritage, but what we are doing now … it's just wrong, Lord. It makes me ashamed to be a German. Is part of this my fault, because I didn't try to stop it before it got so bad?
I remember what it was like after the Great War, God … all too well. Sometimes I still have nightmares about the time I spent in the trenches … the blood, the bodies rotting in the mud with rats nibbling at them … it was terrible. I was so glad when the war was over and I could go home to my toy factory.
Yet it was just as bad after the war, in other ways. Germany lost that war, and the countries that won weren't going to let us forget it. No one had any money, not even the government, because those countries made us pay them back for the "damages" we'd caused them during the war. They left us with nothing to rebuild our own country. They took away our pride and our dignity.
Schatze Toy Co. was the largest toy company in Germany. We were known all over the world, but after the Great War, it was even difficult to get enough materials to make our toys. It was difficult to sell them anyplace except in Germany, too, because no one wanted to buy German goods. It was a very hard time, Lord. I had a wife, and a growing family, and it was all I could do to keep them fed and clothed.
Then Herr Hitler came along. At first, Lord, he seemed to be doing so much good. He gave us back our pride, and made us feel good to be Germans again. He limited the type and amount of business that foreigners and "undesirables' could do in Germany. It seemed to make so much sense then: Germany should be for Germans, and native Germans should have priority over others in business dealings and so forth. And it worked. The economy improved so quickly!
There were little things Herr Hitler wanted, though, that sometimes just didn't feel right. But they seemed so minor, compared to all the good things he was doing. Most of the little things didn't hurt my family or me, either. They just affected the "others", like the Jews, who Hitler said weren't really Germans anyway, so why should they have all of the privileges of Germans? He moved them out of their businesses and their homes, and into what he called "ghettos"…communities consisting only of Jews. He insisted that in the long run, they would be happier "with their own kind", and that as true Germans, we would be better off with them segregated away from us, where they couldn't "contaminate" what he calls our "master race".
Looking back, I can see how many of his ideas just weren't right. But at the time, it was just one very little thing, and then another very little thing, and no one thing seemed that outrageous. By the time I realized that, though, Lord, it was too late. Before many of us realized what was actually happening, Hitler and his Nazi Party had all of the power in Germany, and suddenly it was illegal to even question any of his policies.
I know, Lord. I had factory workers who were Jewish. I don't think I am better or smarter than they were, but almost overnight, they just disappeared. When I made inquiries, I was told they had been "relocated", but the government wouldn't even tell me where, so I could send them their last paychecks. They made it very plain that if I insisted on making further inquiries, then my own loyalty to the Fuhrer would be in question, and my entire family would be under suspicion. One official even hinted that perhaps my children would be better off if they were removed from our home and placed in a more "patriotic" location, like a government-run boarding school! I never made any more inquiries about my missing workers. I realized then that if I wanted to keep my family safe, I would have to at least pretend not to see many of the horrible things that were going on.
Then the Fuhrer invaded Poland, and we were at war again. One day a general from Berlin showed up at my toy factory, and informed me that the Schatze Toy Company had such a good reputation for the quality of our work that we had been chosen for the highsest possible award the Fuhrer could give us! I was so excited … for about two minutes, then they explained what the "award" really was: the government was "giving me the honor of converting my factory into a munitions factory to support the glory and growth of the Thousand Year Reich."
I tried to tell them I didn't think I deserved such an "honor". I told them I would make a horrible munitions maker, because I didn't know anythiing about munitions … just toys. That's when they "dropped the other shoe," as young Carter says. They agreed with me. They were bringing in their own people to run my company. They "didn't want me to have to deal with the awkwardness of working under another's authority in my own factory", so they would "provide me with other work" for the duration of the war. As the owner of such a large business, I obviously was experienced at handling both managerial staff and common workers, so they had the "perfect job" all lined up for me. The next thing I knew, I had been drafted into the army for the second time in my life, and found myself posted to Luft Stalag 13 as the Sergeant of the Guard.
I guess I should thank you, Lord, that they didn't send me to one of the battle fronts. I would make an easy target for some Allied soldier, wouldn't I? I still don't like being a prison guard, though!
And Lord, I really don't want to fight for the Fuhrer and his Thousand Year Reich. To tell you the truth, if I had to fight, I think I would rather be on the other side entirely! But I don't dare say that where anyone could hear me. It would be worth my life if the wrong person overheard. Not just my life, either, but my wife's life, and our children's lives. For the same reason, even if I was physically fit and young enough to fight, I couldn't sneak away and join the resistance. It would put them in too much danger.
You know what, though, God? I think I'm still in trouble. Remember those prisoners I have to guard? They're always up to some kind of monkey business! I think they're absolutely crazy! We have a new Senior Prisoner of 's just been here a few weeks, but he's already turning this prison camp totally upside-down.
I don't know what to do, God! I'm terrified. If I don't tell the kommandant what the prisoners have been doing, and anyone finds out how much I know, I'll be shot for treason and my family will be in danger again, too. But if I do tell what I know, Col. Hogan and his men will be shot, and Col. Klink and I would both probably be shot for incompetence because it happened under our noses, and my family will still be under suspicion again.
Yesterday I opened the door to the prisoners' recreation hall, and Col. Hogan and a bunch of the prisoners were in there. They had ropes, and ladders, and were installing a bunch of pulleys in the ceiling. They said they were "redecorating." When I told them I didn't believe them, Col. Hogan then said they were actually getting ready to steal a German tank and bring it into the rec hall to hide it.
I panicked, Lord. I don't want to help the Nazis, but I can't afford to actively fight them, either. It would be too dangerous for my family. Like I told you before, God, many of the prisoners aren't much more than children themselves, and they're all good men. I like them, especially Col. Hogan and the men closest to him.
Young Carter is such a happy young man, even though he's in a prison camp. He has so much enthusiasm for life.
And the Englishman, Newkirk … he's a rascal, that one. He picked my pocket like a pro the other day. I never knew he'd touched me until he grinned that mischievious grin of his and dangled my pocket watch in front of my eyes! But he has a good heart, too.
Now Sgt. Kinchloe, he's a bit of an enigma. I've never known a black man before. We've never had many of them in Germany. Actually, since the Fuhrer came into power and started relocating "undesirables', I don't think there are any black people left here. The Fuhrer says black people aren't as intelligent as Aryans (for that matter, he says no one else is as intelligent as Germans). The Nazis say blacks are little more than animals. But I've gotten to know Sgt. Kinchloe, at least a little. He seems very intelligent to me. And I know Col. Hogan must think so, because one of the first things he did when he got here was to make Sgt. Kinchloe his second-in-command! That really surprised me, and you should have seen Col. Klink's face when he found out, but it has worked out pretty good. Col. Hogan and Sgt. Kinchloe work well together. And it is obvious that they are actually friends, too. I've never had a friend who was a black man, but I think I would like to call Kinch a friend if he'd let me. To tell you the truth, Lord, under other circumstances, I would be honored to call any of Col. Hogan's men my friend, if I didn't have to try and make myself think of them as my enemies. That's a very difficult thing for me to do!
Especially LeBeau, the little French corporal. I call him 'Cockroach", Lord, because he's so little, and he always seems to be scurrying around somewhere. And ooh, Lord, he makes the most delicious food! He is a real French chef, God! Not even my wife can cook like LeBeau does, and despite the jokes I sometimes make about my wife's cooking, as you can tell if you look at my waistline, I really do enjoy it … a lot more than I probably should!
But I'm getting distracted from my problem, Lord! If I'm honest, I think I'm trying to avoid thinking about it. When I went into that recreation hall yesterday, there was also a Gestapo leftenant in the room! I didn't see him at first, and when he confronted me, I honestly thought I was going to faint. He accused me of collaborating with the prisoners. I thought I was a dead man, Lord. But it turned out to be Newkirk, dressed up in a Gestapo uniform, with a fake mustache! I didn't know he could speak German at all, and here he had me actually convinced he was a real Gestapo goon!
Later last night, the prisoners really did manage to steal one of our new top secret Tiger tanks. Right in the middle of roll call, Corporal Newkirk came driving a tank into the camp, still passing himself off as a Gestapo lieutenant, just as Col. Hogan and I were telling Col. Klink that LeBeau had apparently escaped. Col. Klink called out the dogs to hunt for LeBeau, and in the confusion … well … Lord, you remember those pulleys and ropes in the recreation hall? The prisoners actually opened an entire wall of the rec hall like a big garage door, and Newkirk literally drove the tank into the rec hall. They really did hide the tank in there overnight!
When things finally quieted down, and most of the men were still out hunting Corp. LeBeau, I went to Barracks Two again to confront Col. Hogan. LeBeau was back in the barracks, and there was even an extra person with him. A girl! A very pretty girl, too! The prisoners had somehow managed to sneak LeBeau and Newkirk both out of camp, and then sneak LeBeau and this girl back into the camp, and later they managed to get the girl back out of camp again, and get rid of the tank without anyone (except me) ever knowing where it had been, and even without getting Col. Klink into too much trouble for everything that happened during the confusion.
God, these men are still fighting Hitler, even though they're in a prison camp! I don't know everything they're doing, or just how they're doing it, but at least they're doing something! It's obvious they have a way to get in and out of the camp without anyone being the wiser. You know, Lord, most prisoners, if they manage to find a way out of a POW camp, they escape and try to get back to their home. These men got out at least once (I suspect more than once), and then they came back to keep fighting. If they're caught doing these things, they'll be turned over to the Gestapo and tortured for information, and then shot as spies. Yet they stay here, and they show more courage against Herr Hitler than I could ever have.
Keep them safe, God. Help them keep fighting, so Herr Hitler and his Nazis don't stay in control of Germany, or get control of even more of the world. Show me how I can help them.
I love my country, God. Am I really being a traitor to Germany because I think I would rather we lose another war than win this one if it means having the Nazis incharge of everything? I'm too old and too fat to be any good as a real soldier, especially for the kind of fighting and running the resistance does, and I couldn't risk my family's safety by doing that, anyway.
Perhaps, though … is that why I am here, Lord? Did you arrange for me to be stationed here so I can be a shield between the prisoners and the Nazis? For far too long, I "saw nothing" that Herr Hitler was doing to my country, because it was easier and safer for me that way. I can't bring myself to turn Col. Hogan and his men over to the Gestapo for their monkey business. I can't actively help them. That could put my family in too much danger. But perhaps I can just go on doing what I've been doing for so long. I can continue to just "see nothing, and hear nothing, and know nothing." Only now, God, I promise you that I will make sure that the things I "don't see" are not things that will help make the Fuhrer's Thousand Year Reich a reality.