Those in Darkness
Standard Fanfic Disclaimer that wouldn't last ten seconds in a court of law: these aren't my characters. I'm just borrowing them for, um, typing practice. Ja, that's it, typing practice. They will be returned to their original owners relatively undamaged, or at least suitably bandaged. Hogan's Heroes was created by Albert S. Ruddy and Bernard Fein; Phineas and Ferb was created by Dan Provenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh. The lyrics to Die Dreigroschenoper (in English, The Threepenny Opera) are by Bertolt Brecht. The English translation is from Wikipedia, translator unknown.
Those in Darkness
by Susan M. M.
Hogan's Heroes/Phineas and Ferb
There are some who are in darkness *** Denn die einen sind im Dunkeln
And the others are in light *** Und die andern sind im Licht
And you see the ones in brightness *** Und man siehet die im Lichte
Those in darkness drop from sight. *** Die im Dunkeln sieht man nicht
Bertolt Brecht, The Threepenny Opera
Colonel Robert Hogan leaned against the barracks wall, watching his men play volleyball. Tall, muscular, and handsome, he had a face that pleased German frauleins and American misses. His leather crush cap perched upon his dark hair at a jaunty (not quite regulation) angle. His arms were folded over his chest, the right arm unobtrusively supporting his left. It had been a long, hard winter. Now that spring was finally here, his men were enjoying the warmer weather.
Sergeant Hans Schultz approached the colonel. He was a rotund, middle-aged man, a good ten to fifteen years older than Hogan. Hogan often wondered how the German army found him uniforms to fit his chubby frame. "You are not playing, Colonel?"
Hogan shook his head. "Naw. I tripped and banged my arm against the bedpost," he lied. Truthfully he added, "It's still sore. Think I'll just watch."
"You should be more careful, Herr Oberst," Schultz admonished him.
"I'll try," Hogan promised, "but there's a war on. People get hurt." He wished the Underground contact he'd met last night had been more careful. His arm had been grazed by a bullet in a case of "friendly fire."
Schultz shook his head and tsked. "That is the worst thing about war. People are always getting hurt."
Schultz reached into his pocket. "My wife sent a letter, with pictures of die Kinder. Do you want to see?"
"Sure, I'd love to."
Schultz leaned his Krag-Jørgensen rifle against the barracks wall so he would have both hands free. He opened the envelope and pulled out five wallet-sized pictures. "That is Oskar, my oldest. This is Johanna; isn't she pretty?"
Hogan agreed. "In a few years, she'll need a stick to beat off the boys."
"Erich, he is the clever one of the family, and Fritz, he is the wild one. Always getting into mischief." Schultz smiled indulgently. "And this is Klara, my youngest."
"Hey, she lost a tooth." Hogan looked up at the sergeant. "You're a lucky man, Schultzie."
"Ja, I am. I only hope this war ends soon. It is hard being away from them."
"War can't last forever, Schultzie. In a -" Hogan looked up. A car was coming through the gates. "Who's that?"
Schultz stared at the black car. It was decorated with swastika flags. "Der Kommandant didn't say anything about expecting company."
The driver hurried out of the car and opened the backseat door. A short man in a Gestapo uniform stepped out.
"Hochstetter." Hogan's voice was filled with contempt as he pronounced the name.
"Trouble," Schultz said quietly. He put the photographs back in the envelope and tucked the envelope into his pocket. "I had better warn Col. Klink that he is here." Schultz started to turn toward the commandant's office.
"Yes, Colonel?" The sergeant turned back to see what was the matter.
"You forgot this." Hogan held out the rifle to him.
"Danke, Herr Oberst."
Col. Wilhelm Klink, Commandant of Luftstalag 13, hummed as he continued the never-ending battle against paperwork and red tape. The window was open, allowing the spring breeze in. The record player behind his desk played a recording of 'Die Dreigroschenoper', one of his favorite operas. It was as close to a good day as a POW camp managed. Sometimes Klink felt that he was as much of a prisoner as the men in his keeping.
Loud voices from the outer office caught his attention. He looked up from his paperwork.
"Herr Kommandant, Herr Kommandant," he heard Schultz cry out.
"Nein, Sergeant, you can not go in there," he heard his secretary, Fraulein Hilda, protest.
Schultz knocked on the door of Klink's private office. He pushed his way in, not bothering to wait for an invitation to come in. "Mein Kommandant, I came to warn you. Major Hochstetter is here."
"Hochstetter? Here?" Klink paled. "What can he want?"
"I don't know, but you had better turn off the record player, or at least change the record." Schultz jutted his chin at the record player. "I like Kurt Weill. Der Fuhrer does not."
Klink gulped. This was the worst possible music to play in front of the Gestapo. 'The Threepenny Opera', a banned work, politically incorrect because of its Marxist overtones, written by a Jewish composer, and this particular performance conducted by Dr. Otto Klemperer, the brilliant but erratic Jewish conductor/composer. The composer, the lyricist, and the conductor had all fled Germany in 1933. Quickly he removed the record. He handed it to Schultz, who opened one of the desk drawers, stashed the record inside it, and then shut the drawer. Klink placed a Wagner recording on the machine; the Fuhrer was known to love 'Ride of the Valkyries.'
A moment later Klink heard the front door open and then slam shut. Then he heard Hochstetter telling Hilda "Do not bother to announce me, fraulein. I can show myself in."
Klink looked up from his paperwork. "Guten tag, Herr Major. What a pleasant surprise," Klink lied. He reached down and felt the drawer the record was in, just to assure himself it was shut tight. He tried to keep his voice from quavering, but didn't quite succeed. Any sane man feared the Gestapo.
"Heil Hitler!" Hochstetter saluted.
Klink raised his hand in a tepid salute. "Heil Hitler."
"Klink, I need to talk to - Turn that racket off!"
"Racket, Major? You dare describe Wagner as racket? Why, our beloved Fuhrer has said himself that 'Anyone who does not appreciate the music of Wagner cannot understand National Socialism'."
Wolfgang Hochstetter dared not argue with that. "Turn it down, then," he ordered, "so I can talk without shouting."
"Funny, I thought the Gestapo liked shouting," Corporal Peter Newkirk observed. He and his mates were in Col. Hogan's quarters, listening to the coffeepot.
The music continued, but at a much lower volume. "You know, Major, Wagner's music is not meant to whisper. It is meant to shout."
"I don't believe it," Corporal Louis LeBeau whispered. "Klink is actually talking back to Hochstetter."
"Maybe he finally remembered a colonel outranks a major," Sgt. James Kinchloe suggested.
"Shhh," Col. Hogan ordered.
"I did not come here to discuss music, Kommandant Klink. I came here to talk to some of your men," Hochstetter declared, not quite snarling.
"There has never been a successful escape from Stalag 13," Klink reminded him. "It has been over two months since we have even had an escape attempt."
Hogan turned to Kinchloe. "Remind me to schedule a phony escape attempt. We don't want the commandant getting complacent."
The Negro sergeant nodded.
"Not your prisoners, your men. I need to talk to some of your guards."
"Major Hochstetter! My men are all good soldiers, all loyal sons of the Fatherland," Klink protested.
"That, Colonel, is what I am here to determine."
"And that, gentlemen, is why the Allies are going to win the war," Hogan declared quietly. "You can't fight a war on two fronts and win. And the Nazis spend as much time fighting their own people as they do us."
END OF CHAPTER ONE
Author's Note: Dr. Otto Klemperer, real life father of actor Werner Klemperer, was a much respected conductor. He suffered from bipolar disorder. He and his family fled Germany in 1933. Werner Klemperer, who played the violin very well in real life, served in the US Army during WWII. Sorry, there won't be any characters from Disney's Phineas and Ferb until chapter two or three.