A/N: I don't own Hogan's Heroes and I don't get paid for this; it is truly a labor of love.

This story is affectionately dedicated to the memory of the late great Howard Caine, whose delightfully demented portrayal of Major Wolfgang Hochstetter was the inspiration for this story.

He sat in the deepening twilight, smoking one of Klink's purloined cigars.

This war was taking too damned long. What would Mutti and Vati have thought of their beloved Bavaria under such a regime? He reminded himself that they would have been even more horrified had they lived to see their son—their cherished child whom they had tried so hard to Americanize—back in the old country, wearing this uniform.

He sighed. No doubt it was fortunate that his family had emigrated prior to the first war. Although anti-Semitism had been present in Germany then—and indeed was present in their adopted country as well—his parents' memories of the Germany they had left behind had not been tainted with the lethal Hitler-ordered animus that existed now. And he thanked God that they had not lived to learn of the unspeakable atrocities occurring at Dachau, Buchenwald, Mauthausen, Boldaro, and many other places in Germany and its occupied territories.

Some days he wondered how much longer he could hold on. He had left his comfortable professorship at Columbia to embark on this crazy masquerade years ago. No one had urged him to do this. But after his father and then his mother passed on, he had found himself evaluating his life and taking a good hard look at what the world was coming to.

It had taken a great deal of research and the patient tracking down of leads before he found the obscure office in the State Department that handled espionage. At first he had met with skepticism and downright suspicion. Why would an American Jew wish to infiltrate Nazi-controlled Germany? At that time Americans had not considered Hitler much of a threat; many, such as Charles Lindbergh, even admired him.

But he himself was convinced of the danger and his persistence paid off. It was slowly coming to the attention of the American government that many Nazi spies lived and worked in the United States, and it was time to find out what was going on in the Fatherland. Since he spoke German like the Bavarian native he was and had made it his business to study the political and social climate of present-day Germany, he was chosen to undertake a deep-cover, long-term espionage mission.

As he was young enough to be considered for active military duty in Germany, his first care was to secure a position with the secret police. This gave him access to information that should have warned America of the critical danger even prior to the invasion of Poland. But he had been frustrated at every turn by the lack of official response to his findings. He was well aware of the neutrality factions that attempted to dictate policy in America during those years, but American passivity was hard to bear, especially after what he had seen on the streets and heard on the airwaves of Germany.

By 1939, however, control of his operation had been transferred to British Intelligence. Finally, the information he was able to obtain was being acted upon. He was pretty sure that he would never have been able to keep this up, had he not the satisfaction that—at last—someone was listening to him.

But the demands of his job were telling on him. It was bad enough to witness atrocities and be unable to do anything to stop them. As a Gestapo officer, he was expected to be feared, and perhaps even to have perpetrated a few atrocities of his own.

To maintain his deep cover and yet still live with himself, he had developed and perfected a persona that was definitely feared by all who encountered him, and yet never actually did anything to earn that fear. He knew just when to ratchet up the threatening voice and gestures, slowly but surely turning into a wild-eyed maniac who terrified everyone he confronted.

He had made quite a reputation for himself among the Gestapo, and he was well aware that a few of his colleagues considered him to be on the verge of insanity. Perhaps that was the reason that no one had yet delved too deeply into his record. True, he had many investigations going on at once, but curiously enough those investigations never seemed to go anywhere.

He was careful to go after people who were the least likely to be enemies of the state, bluster and threaten them until his own staff was terrified, and then move on to the next. He was sorry that he had had to frighten so many innocent people, but so far it had not been necessary to do more than frighten anyone.

Of course, he had accidentally turned up a few actual underground operations, but he had skillfully mismanaged these investigations so that the perpetrators were somehow cleared of all charges. Again, he was sorry to have terrified them, but in the process he felt they had learned some valuable lessons about avoiding the Gestapo.

Then there was Stalag 13. Much of his time was spent harassing the camp, prisoners and staff alike, for what could be a more unlikely source of underground activity? The stalag boasted a Kommandant who was the picture of Prussian timidity and a Senior POW Officer who was the picture of American flippancy. And there had never been a successful escape during the tenure of these two; he was perfectly safe conducting an ongoing yet fruitless investigation here.

And yet...and yet...could those two possibly be as ineffective as they made themselves out to be? Could either of them be playing the same deep game he himself played? He would have given much to know the answer to this, but for the safety of all concerned, he knew he had to play this game as a lone hand.

Professor Howard Cohen, formerly of Columbia University, sighed and rose to get ready for bed. Tomorrow would be another day in the life of his alter-ego: Major Wolfgang Hochstetter.