This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any actual resemblance to persons or historical persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The Hogan's Heroes characters, settings, locales, ect. are owned by other entities who have not endorsed this fic nor have they given permission for their use. Author makes no claims to these characters and is not making any profit off their use.
All original characters are the property of the author.
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© Copyright: 2003. Lisa Philbrick
Das Birken Hotel
February 4, 1944
Early the next morning, Peter and Serilda were both up early hoping to make a quick exodus of Berlin. They had accomplished most of what they came for, but they still didn't have much of an answer for the treason charge. Peter felt assured by Marsden's words at the party that the charge would be taken care of. But he was still bothered for an answer as to why the Gestapo put through such information and on him specifically.
He washed quickly, combed his hair and dressed into the SS uniform for
what he hoped was the last time. He stood in front of the vanity and
straightened his neck tie. The knock on the door made him stop.
It was too early for a chambermaid and Serilda, being in the room next
to him, always used the adjoining door. Peter was certainly not expecting
any visitors this morning.
"Einen Augeblick, bitte!" Just a moment, please! Peter
put on the uniform jacket, buttoned it and went to the door to greet
His "visitors" were four men from the Gestapo. The shortest
of the four wore the highest rank as Captain and he looked at Peter
"Guten Morgen," Peter said. "Kannikh hilfe Sie?"
Can I help you?
"We'd like to talk to you for a moment, Herr Reichslieutenant. May
we come in?"
Something was wrong. However, Peter nodded, having no choice and opened
the door wider to let the men in. The last one closed the door and
the three looked around the room as the Captain kept a steady eye on
"I apologize for the early morning hour, Herr Reichslieutenant but
I had to make sure you were still here in Berlin. You've been very
hard to find for the past few days."
"I keep busy," Peter said. Despite his retort, he couldn't
help the sinking feeling he was about to be arrested.
"Yes...you certainly do. In fact, you were seen speaking to a known
Underground agent about the possibility of leaving the Fatherland.
I'm sure you understand, Herr Reichslieutenant that this is very disturbing
and we cannot allow for it to happen." The Captain made eye contact
with one of the other officers who moved into position behind Newkirk.
Serilda, meanwhile, was listening to the voices from Peter's room at
the adjoining door. Quietly she opened the door just enough to see
the four Gestapo men surrounding Peter.
"You've also been keeping company with a young lady we would like
to talk to as well." The Captain smirked. "I'm afraid she
would be a bad influence on any young men here in Berlin..."
"You're doing a lot of talking, Herr Captain," Peter said.
"But you haven't really told me why you're here."
"Of course, I should have stated my official intent at the start.
You're under arrest, Herr Reichslieutenant, for treason against the
Peter was suddenly held in the grips of two of the officers. He resisted
momentarily and the two officers tightened their grips, meaning business.
The Captain grinned. "And the young woman who has been traveling
with you is a spy and she will be dealt with..." He made
a motion with his hand for the third officer to go to the adjoining
Serilda vacated the door and hastily grabbed her carry bag off the bed,
running out of her room.
"NO!" Peter struggled against the hold but the two Gestapo
officers held tight and then yanked his arms behind him. The Captain
"She will be treated well, Herr Reichslieutenant."
Peter swore in German and kicked one of his captors in the shin. "Serilda!
Get out of here!!"
The third officer ignored the commotion behind him and marched onto the
door. He quickly threw the door opened and charged into the room. He
found the room empty but saw the door to the hall way was hanging opened.
He ran back to tell the Captain.
Peter, however, would hear nothing. His struggle with the two officers ended quickly when one took the butt end of his Luger and knocked Peter on the back of the head.
The Captain watched the Reichslieutenant go limp in the grips of his two officers then turned to receive the news. He instructed two of his men to get to the exits of the hotel before the woman did. He and the remaining officer would search the rooms. The two officers carried Peter to the bed to leave him and cleared out quickly.
Serilda's heart had caught in her chest when she heard Peter call out. She stopped her run down the hall and looked back, part of her begging to go back. The other part screamed to run away. Serilda! Get out of here!
Fear commanded her and she went back to running down the hall, heading
toward the backside of the hotel. She zipped around another corner,
caught the looks of a couple of chambermaids but kept running. Not
long after, the chambermaids saw the Gestapo officer go running past
Serilda spotted the elevator and the door for the stairs. The elevator
door was just closing, she would end up trapped in the stair well because
if the officer figured she had just got on the elevator, he'd take
the stairs. She looked around the hall way furiously and saw a door
marked for employees. She rushed to it and opened it, finding a dark
utility closet. She slipped inside and closed the door quickly.
The Gestapo officer came around the corner and saw the elevator was just
beginning it's decent. He immediately took to the stairs. Serilda opened
the door a crack and watched as the stair way door closed. She then
closed the door again and found the light of the closet.
She put her carry bag down and rummaged through it. She found a kerchief
and pair of sunglasses. She quickly tucked her hair up in a hasty bun,
put the sunglasses on and then wrapped the kerchief around her head,
tying it under her chin. She looked a Hollywood starlet trying to outfox
the paparazzi. She hoped it would work to outfox the Gestapo. She pulled
her light weight trenchcoat out and put it on, turning the collar up.
She shut the light off and then open the door a crack, peeking out to
the hallway. Carefully she opened it wider and found the hallway empty.
She briskly walked down the hall looking for another stairwell at the
backside of the hotel.
She found one, which brought her out directly in back of the hotel. She
tried to appear calm and natural, even though her heart was still racing.
She had to get to the car and go to...somewhere. But where? She couldn't
drive back to Hamelburg alone. How was she going to get a message to
Colonel Hogan that things had gone terribly wrong?
She walked with these questions pounding in her head. Oh Peter...
The thought of what could happen to him tore her apart. Forgive
When she came to the front corner of the hotel she peered around to the
street. Another Gestapo car pulled up to the curb and two additional
officers step out. The car she and Peter had driven in was already
under guard by a Gestapo officer. She would obviously have to make
her way on foot from now on.
She continued to watch the scene, glancing behind her occasionally and
wondering where exactly was she going to go now. Movement by the front
doorway of the hotel brought her attention back and she watched as
the Gestapo carried Peter bodily out to one of the cars. The sight
caught her breath and she brought her hand to her face. Although she
was fairly sure that Peter wasn't dead, as the Gestapo wouldn't have
permitted their vehicles to be used as hearses, she felt no more comfortable
with the idea of Peter being in their custody.
She turned and hurriedly walked away from the hotel, swallowing tears...
About the same time the Gestapo was knocking on Peter's hotel room door, Angus was in the midst of battle with Lt. Weisburg at his Underground meeting location. The Gestapo lieutenant had been taken by surprise when Angus suddenly and without preamble, lashed out and struck Weisburg across the face. The Lieutenant staggered back in surprise and then realized that Marsden was obviously looking to terminate the coerced partnership. Weisburg could make no effort to go for his gun, because Angus had followed up on the strike by immediately going for the Luger. The two men struggled, Weisburg trying to push Marsden away form him with one hand and grab for his gun with the other. They scuffled for a moment, Marsden had the Luger in his grip but Weisburg pushed him back and they both went into the table where the radio set was located.
The table wobbled and Angus turned the motion of the fight to his advantage.
He turned himself and Weisburg, pinning Weisburg to the table and with
a swift motion of his knee to Weisburg's stomach, stunned the Lieutenant
long enough to pull the Luger away.
Although finding it difficult to breathe, Weisburg wasn't about to let
Marsden use the gun on him. He lunged at Angus and reached for the
gun, forcing it to point outward. Angus discharged a shot with the
motion and fought with Weisburg, who grabbed at the gun enough to expelling
two more bullets. Angus finally pushed Weisburg back, sending him back
into the table and knocking other electronics onto the floor.
Hand held radios and tracking devices smashed upon the floor and Weisburg
nearly went down himself. Angus turned the Luger to point at Weisburg
and pulled the trigger. But the gun was empty. It did nothing more
Weisburg turned back to face Angus, who threw the empty gun back at the
Gestapo Lieutenant. As Weisburg deflected the gun, Angus bolted for
the door. The gun clattered on the floor and Weisburg followed after
Angus leapt up the stairs and ran down the alley way to the street. Weisburg
followed, shouting for Angus to stop. The chase went down the sidewalk
and Weisburg's shouts of Halt! did nothing to help him or stop
Angus. No one in the neighborhood, if they were witnessing the chase
at all, was making any moves to assist either man.
Little did Angus know, he had someone out there who would help him. Angus
negotiated the snow and ice and nearly slipped on a patch but caught
himself and quickly found cobblestone to run upon. Weisburg, would
not be so lucky. He hit the ice too and slipped a little, but the jerk
of his upper body told a different story as he went down. He collapsed
in a heap upon the ice and slid about an inch, coming to a final stop.
Angus stopped and turned to look. He stared at the Gestapo officer laying
still upon the ice and then looked around the neighborhood. He saw
nothing in the windows or doorways. Cautiously, he walked toward Weisburg
but not directly to him. Angus looked at the officer as he passed and
noticed no movement at all. Angus figured Weisburg slipped on the ice
and fell enough to knock himself out. What he didn't know, was that
a silent bullet had taken the Gestapo officer down.
And the gun that bullet had come from belonged to the bartender of the haufbrau, Bruno, who watched carefully from his apartment window as Angus ran back in the direction of the Underground meeting place.
February 4, 1944
Peter came to later in a Gestapo interrogation room. They had laid him
face down on the cold cement floor and three ranking Gestapo officers
had waited patiently for him to awaken.
He stirred slightly and felt the dull ache in his head before he realized
he was laying down. Slowly, he moved to get up, not realizing he wasn't
The Gestapo men let him get as far as his hands and knees before grabbing
by his arms and lifting him into a chair. This startled Peter and he
let out a yelp, while whatever fog was left in his consciousness was
lifted. The ache of the back of his head, however, intensified.
The two Gestapo men stepped away from the chair he was sitting in and
Peter looked up at the third officer, who stood in the middle of the
room across from him, one boot up on another chair. It was the same
Captain who had arrested him.
"What is your name?"
It took Peter a moment to find his voice. He cleared his throat. "Hans
von Dashden, SS Reichslieutenant."
"Why are you here in Berlin?"
"I'm trying to locate my sister's fiancé. He disappeared
over two weeks ago."
"Why were you talking to Herr Marsden and inquiring about leaving
Germany as a defector?"
"Because it's possible my sister's fiancé' took the same
route. Or was trying to take the same route."
"What's his name?"
"Hmm...." the Captain lifted his foot of the chair and walked
up to Peter. "Your story would be quite convincing accept for
the fact that the SS has no record of your existence. There is no Wehrstammbuch
on a Hans von Dashden of the SS in Dueselldorf or anywhere in the Third
Reich. So, I ask again...what is your name?"
Peter swallowed. "Hans von Dashden--"
The Captain gave Peter a violent back handed swipe. "How dare you
defy me! There is no Hans von Dashden of the SS! You will tell me who
you really are, why you are in Berlin and why you were talking to Angus
Peter said nothing but the look behind his eyes burned in rage. He looked
down at the Captain's boots and spit on them.
"Argh!!!" the Captain lashed out at Peter again, striking him
across the face, swearing at him in German. "Perhaps you think
the SS will be more tolerant of you! Take him out of here!!"
The two other officers grabbed up Peter from the chair and hauled him
out of the interrogation room. They pushed him down a hallway and down
a flight of stairs to a lock up. He was pushed into a cell of four
concrete walls, no windows, a metal door and a dirt floor, landing
unceremoniously on the floor in a heap. The door banged shut behind
His ironic fate settled uneasily in his gut. He would more than likely
be executed by the SS as a traitor...just as he had finally proved
to London that he wasn't a traitor to the Allies. And Serilda. What
had happened to her? Where was she? He prayed she had not been caught
by the Gestapo but deep down, he doubted that. And lastly, why did
this whole mess ever even start? What as the Gestapo's plan for him
to have to be accused of treason?
And what of Colonel Hogan and the others? What would happen now?
February 4, 1944
Serilda headed back to the side of Berlin where the Underground meeting
place was located. What drew her there, she wasnt sure. Surely
she wouldnt find Marsden or anyone for that matter. If anything
the place would be empty or destroyed.
But there was no other place to go in Berlin. And with no car, she couldnt leave on her own, unless she took a train to Dusseldorf. But leaving Peter behind bothered her. She felt that somehow she had to find a way to help him, despite knowing that pulling him from the clutches of the Gestapo was impossible. Added to that the fact that they were looking for her too. Her options were limited.
She hurried down the sidewalk and turned to the corner at the alleyway,
keeping her pace quick. She came to the backside of the building and
saw the stairwell that went down to a door. Cautiously, she stepped
down the steps.
She could hear noises from behind the wooden door. Figuring she had come
while the Gestapo was ripping the place apart, she held her breath
and chanced a look through the dirty window.
Inside, however, was not a Gestapo officer, but Angus himself. He was
moving quickly, loading papers and maps into a box next to the radio
that was now dismantled. Other electronic gadgets lay in pieces on
the table or floor.
Relieved to see him, Serilda knocked and opened the door. Angus,
its me. Serilda.
Startled, Angus stopped what he was doing and turned to the doorway.
Serilda! He smiled at her and came to her, embracing her.
I did not expect to find you here, she said.
I honestly did not expect to make it back it here, he answered. He gestured to the smashed pieces of electronics on the floor.
Weisburg put up a fight, I then escaped on foot and he chased after
me down the street. He slipped on a sheet of ice and fell, pretty hard.
He did not move even when I came back to pass him.
Is he dead?
I dont know, I didnt stop to check for sure. I hurried
back here to radio to London and get rid of this stuff so as not to
allow the Allies to be compromised any more. London will be dropping
the treason charge against Peter Newkirk. He smiled.
Thats great, Serilda said, but the enthusiasm had to
struggle to show.
Just before I dismantled the radio, Emil contacted me and said
Gisela and the boys are safely on their way to England. He said he
can get me to Switzerland and then to England
Im sorry, Angus. The Gestapo arrested Peter this morning
before we could leave the hotel. And theyre looking for me too!
They took the car, I have no way to get out of Berlin!
Angus shook his head. I will get you out of Berlin, he said
and put a reassuring hand on her shoulder. And we will try to
do what we can for Peter. Help me finish putting this stuff together
to be destroyed and we will go.
February 4, 1944
Major Hans Teppel of the Obeveur, or SS Intelligence, looked like an
aristocratic, Aryan, loyal and even somewhat arrogant German. He was
approximately 55 years of age and looked as such that he lived comfortably.
His graying hair matched the gray of his uniform and overcoat and he
walked with a sense of importance. He spoke fondly of a childhood in
Bavaria, had over 10 years in the German military, was shrewd, intelligent
and decorated for his service to the Reich.
He was also a pretty damn good actor. Nobody in the Obeveur knew that
Hans Teppel was really Roger Morris, who had grown up not in Bavaria,
but in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. And nobody knew that Hans Teppel was really
an intelligence agent for the American OSS as opposed to the German
As such, Tepple knew of Angus Marsden and the two had worked together
several times. When Marsden suddenly could no longer be contacted,
Teppel became concerned. Given his rank and position with the SS, Tepple
couldn't go out looking for Marsden. He could only wait.
When the Gestapo called to say they had an SS officer in custody, a possible
defector who had been seen speaking to Angus Marsden recently, Teppel
took it upon himself to claim the prisoner and pick him up, hoping
maybe to get some kind of answers as to Marsden's current whereabouts.
Teppel of course, had no idea what he was to find when he got to Gestapo
Headquarters. He maintained a look a of disgust at the idea that an
SS officer would be looking to defect, and followed the guard down
a hall. They arrived at a cell door, which was unlocked for the Major.
Teppel looked in and saw the man lying upon the dirt floor. He looked
at the guard. "I will be okay. I will call for you when I'm ready."
"Jawohl, Herr Major." The guard stepped back and Teppel walked
into the cell. The metal door banged shut behind him and Teppel stepped
toward the prisoner.
Newkirk curled inward more. Go away! Leave me alone, just go away!
Teppel kneeled down, finding the prisoner looked vaguely familiar.
"Look at me."
Newkirk didn't move right away and Teppel grabbed the lapels of Peter's
jacket and pulled on them. "Look at me!"
Fearing reprisal, Newkirk flinched and tried to raise his arms in defense.
He turned his head to look at the Major and instantly the two men recognized
"What is--what are you doing here?" Teppel hissed. He
looked at Newkirk's dirtied SS uniform. "What is going on?? What
are you doing here in Berlin?" He glanced toward the door and
then back at Peter. "Is Colonel Hogan and the others here?"
he asked, very softly not wanting the guard outside the door to hear.
"No..." Newkirk meekly shook his head. "I'm in bloody
trouble this time..."
Teppel adjusted his grip on Newkirk's jacket and assisted the Englishman
to sit upon the floor. Seeing his face more clearly in the light, Teppel
finally came up with a name.
"You are Newkirk."
"Parading around Berlin as a defecting SS officer is not exactly
a wise thing to be doing nowadays."
"I didn't have much choice," Peter replied. "The bloody
Gestapo took over Angus Marsden's group and started feeding false information
Teppel paused. "So that's why I haven't been able to find him."
He looked at Peter. "What kind of false information?"
"A bloody treason charge against me, for one thing. I'm came here
to find out what's going on."
"No." Peter paused. Where was Serilda? "No, I came
with an Underground agent."
"Where is he?"
"She." He looked at the Major. "I don't know where she
is. We were both staying at Das Birken hotel in Berlin. The Gestapo
busted down my door this morning. I don't know if they found her or
not. I hope they didn't."
"They made no indication to me that they did." Teppel paused.
"How did the Gestapo figure Marsden out?"
"I don't know, but they were holding his family and he had a Kraut
following him around all the time. That's how I got busted. Serilda
and I made contact with Marsden as brother and sister looking to defect.
The story I gave the Gestapo was that we were looking for her missing
Teppel nodded. "That's what they told me. Where's Marsden now?"
"I don't know. Probably telling the Kraut where to stuff his swatzika.
Serilda and I sprung his wife and kids last night. They're on their
way to England." Peter paused. "Sir, I'm sure there's nothing
you can do for me. But if possible, can you make sure they didn't get
"I'm going to make sure the Gestapo doesn't keep you. If
they were trying to paint you a traitor and then they find out you're
here, it may put a damper on their plans."
"Whatever their plans are."
"All the same, I'm having you placed under SS custody. You'll be
my prisoner and declared an internal matter. You're identity is unconfirmed
because you're working under top secret orders." Teppel paused.
"More or less I'm doing this to get you out of Berlin."
"I will try to find what happened to her. But you have been caught
by the Gestapo. They don't know you're Peter Newkirk of the RAF but
when they find out you may end up a dead RAF pilot."
"Better that than a dead defecting SS officer."
February 4, 1944
Colonel Hogan, Kinch and LeBeau were down in the tunnel, listening to the beeps and clicks from the code radio. Kinch scribbled the message down, acknowledged receiving back to London and then tore the paper off the pad. He handed it to the Colonel.
Hogan read the message. "They're dropping the treason charge,"
he announced with a smile.
"All right! That means Newkirk made it," LeBeau said.
"Yeah. Marsden's closing up shop and getting out of Berlin."
"Newkirk should be back here in a couple of days then," Kinch
"All we have to do is get rid of Hochstetter," LeBeau said.
"Otherwise it will be difficult to get him back into camp."
Hogan nodded. "Kinch, send a message to the Underground in Hamelburg,
let Dr. Weinstein know that Newkirk should be back in a couple of days.
Tell them we've got Hochstetter hanging around here and the situation's
iffy and we might not be able to get Newkirk back into camp right away."
Kinch nodded and started transmitting.
"How are we going to get him back into camp, Hochstetter or no?"
"I'm thinking have it look like Newkirk was trying to escape and
was using the defection angle as a cover. The hard part is explaining
how he managed to be out for so long and end up only being caught in
"Just say he was home sick for Stalag 13."
"Colonel!" Carter called down from the barracks above. "Hochstetter's
back and he's brought the radio truck!"
Hogan looked at Kinch, who nodded. He ended the transmission and shut
the radio off. "Short and sweet, Colonel. It went through."
"All right, let's get back up there."
The three climbed up the ladder and returned to the barracks. From the
window, Hogan looked out on the compound and saw the truck parked just
inside the gate.
"For somebody who's looking for Newkirk to be a new member of the
Nazi party, Hochstetter's not exactly rolling out the welcome mat,"
"No," Hogan agreed. "There's no doubt now. He's looking
February 4, 1944
The box of papers that Angus packaged was carried to another part of
the building where a fireplace was located. A fire was already burning
and Angus instructed Serilda to place the papers into the fire. She
did so, as Angus went back to complete the destruction of the radio
and the other electronic equipment. He then carried various components
from that to the fireplace as well and added them to the fire.
Thats everything, he said. Serilda dropped the last
of the maps and documents into the fire. The electronic components
smoldered and sparked and were rendered useless. Satisfied that everything
was effectively destroyed Angus proceeded to extinguish the fire.
"By the time any of this is discovered, we will be long gone," Angus said. "Come, we must move quickly..."
Major Teppel left SS Headquarters and drove to Kessler Park. The late afternoon sun shone over Berlin and the park had a fair amount of people, walking, sitting on the benches and conversing with one another. A small group of children played in the snow. Teppel walked to a park bench where a man dressed in a gray SS uniform sat with a woman. The man stood up and saluted. Teppel returned the salute and then stepped in closer.
"I have to admit I'm surprised to see you at all," Teppel said.
"I heard what happen with the Gestapo. I figured you'd be a dead
"Not that I didn't come close to it," Angus replied. "Teppel,
this is Serilda Bachman she is with the Underground in Hamelburg. She
came here with Peter Newkirk, of Colonel Hogan's group to help me out.
Only now the Gestapo has arrested Herr Newkirk, thinking he is of the
"Who's now in my custody."
"He is?" Marsden said.
"Is he okay, Major?" Serilda asked.
"Yes, he is fine." Teppel smiled. "Although he's wondering
the same thing about you."
"He gave the Gestapo a hard enough time that they called me. I took
him into SS custody and declared him an internal matter, top secret.
That covers me long enough until I can figure how to get him out of
Berlin and back to Stalag 13."
"Why not have the three of us, Angus, Peter and myself go to Switzerland?"
Serilda asked. "And from there, England?"
"Normally I would recommend that," Teppel said. "But I
am thinking of the continuity of Colonel Hogan's operations at Stalag
13. I don't know under what circumstances Newkirk got out of camp and
whether or not he is expected back. To ship him off to England may
"How do you plan to find out those circumstances?" Angus asked.
"I will go to Stalag 13 under the guise that I am to question some
of the prisoners. I've done this before. I will talk to Colonel Hogan
and find out what is going on."
"May I come with you?" Serilda asked.
"Fraulien, it may be best if you go with Angus to Switzerland."
"Please?" she said. "For Peter's sake. I want to see that
he is returned back to Stalag 13 safely and with the honor of his country
Teppel looked at Serilda for a moment and the nodded. "Very well.
You may come with me."
"Thank you, Herr Major."
February 4, 1944
Having been declared an internal matter and top secret, Peter found
he was basically being treated as an undercover SS officer. Teppel
had provided Peter with a clean SS uniform, a new Soldbuch and documents
with a different name and placed him up at the Rosholt Hotel for the
Peter counted his blessings for being found by Major Teppel and not someone
else, who would have not hesitated at seeing him executed. But as he
looked out of his hotel window at the city of Berlin, he thought of
Serilda and where she was. All the worse possible things he could think
of that could happen to her ran through is mind. God, he hoped she
hadn't been captured. But if she had....
He closed his eyes and hung his head. Teppel said he would try to find
out what happened to her, but deep down Peter's aching heart told him
the possibility of finding her was slim.
Little did he know that the Major would be bringing him a visitor. After
a moment, he turned away from the window and sat down by the coffee
table. He pulled the pack of smuggled in English cigarettes from his
jacket pocket and removed one, lighting it.
On the street below, Teppel pulled up in his car with Serilda. A few
minutes later they were on the second floor and outside Peter's hotel
room door. Teppel knocked and then opened the door part way.
Peter looked up toward him.
"Herr Dousman, I have a visitor for you..." Teppel smiled and
pushed the door open, standing back to let Serilda into the room first.
"Serilda...!" Peter sprung out of the chair and gathered Serilda
into a welcoming and happy embrace. "Thank God you're all right!"
"Thank God you are all right," she said and giggled
"Both of you are very fortunate," Teppel said. "As is
"Where is he now?" Peter asked.
"On his way to Switzerland," Teppel said. "I suggested
that Serilda go with him, but she insisted on finding you."
Peter looked at her. "You probably should have gone with him."
"I couldn't. I want to make sure you get back to Stalag 13 and that
England does not see you as a traitor anymore."
Peter was about to argue it when Teppel spoke up. "It is too late now, Newkirk. She is here. The task at hand now is getting the two of you back to Hamelburg."
Peter nodded. "Yes sir."
"I'm thinking to go to Stalag 13 in the next couple of days to "question"
Colonel Hogan. The both of you will come with me, as my driver and
secretary. I want to know how you got out of camp so that we can figure
way to get you back in."
After Teppel left, Newkirk ordered dinner for two to be delivered to his room. It was the first decent meal he and Serilda had had for several days and they took the time to enjoy it. Based on the cuisine served at Stalag 13, Peter often griped that he didn't care for German food. But the hot plate of Sauerbraten (beef roast, marinated with herbs and braised in rich sauce) served with potato dumplings was quickly turning Peter's opinion. He left nothing on the plate, much to Serilda's amusement.
"German food agrees with you, ja?"
He grinned. "When you're hungry and there's a hot plate of good
smelling food in front of you, who cares where it's from."
Peter took a sip of his wine but his eyes never left Serilda. She blushed
under his gaze and picked up her wine glass. Peter found the look of
her in the candlelight alluring and his feelings about her stirred
stronger. He knew better. He shouldn't have been attracted to her like
this because he knew when this was all over he would only end up with
a broken heart. As would she. But denying his feelings was impossible.
And trying to fight those feelings with her sitting across from him,
her face a glow in the soft candlelight and then her eyes slowly turning
up to look at him...it was a hopeless battle.
He placed his wine glass down and stood up, reaching a hand out to her,
which she took and did so for all the same reasons he had reached to
her. She knew she should resist, she knew, as did he that if it went
any further, if they were to whisper words of love to one another,
there was nothing guaranteeing any future. But it was like a spell,
every time she looked into those blue/green eyes it was a blow to her
resistance. When he kissed her, before the Barron's ball, and she found
herself in his strong embrace there was little left to resist him with.
Now he gently pulled her to him, holding her close like a couple slow
dancing but there was no music. He then touched his fingers to her
chin, lifting her face to him.
"Tell me it's not hopeless...?" he whispered, searching her
"I don't know.... Peter, we both know we're caught in it. We both
know what could or could not happen. There's no guarantee about tomorrow..."
"I don't care about tomorrow. I only care about right now. I only
care that you're here with me, now...." his fingers traced across
her cheek to her hair. "Let's not think about tomorrow...."
His tender kiss made Serilda forget all about tomorrow.
February 5, 1944
The next morning, Weisburg's final notes and a report from Sturmscharführer
Kohler, the guard that had been assigned to watch Angus Marsden's family,
were delivered by courier to Major Hochstetter. He read through Weisburg's
final notes and sighed. How had it all unraveled? Weisburg was now
dead, Kohler had been knocked unconscious and the family had fled and
Angus Marsden himself had disappeared. The only connection Hochstetter
had to those events was an SS officer named Hans von Dashden.
And just who the hell was Hans von Dashden? The additional report from
Gestapo headquarters in Berlin on von Dashden's arrest gave little
information, only that the Reichslieutenant had been uncooperative,
and although he admitted to having talked to Angus Marsden, his reasons
as to why could not be corroborated. And the reports from Weisburg
and Kohler conflicted. The woman traveling with von Dashden was his
sister, according to Weisburg. In Kohler's report, she was his fiancé.
Both reports, however, described the woman's physical appearance the
Hochstetter pondered this a moment. He wondered, on the off chance, if
Hans von Dashden was really Peter Newkirk. The coincidence fit. Newkirk
was nowhere to be found in Dusseldorf or Hamelburg. An Underground
operative would have known where to find Gisela and from there, find
where Angus was. And the whole idea of the plan was to flush Colonel
Hogan out. If Hochstetter grabbed one of the Colonel's men, exposing
the whole operation should be easy....
Hochstetter picked up the phone beside him and asked the operator to
be connected to SS Headquarters in Berlin. After connecting he announced
himself and the nature of his inquiry. He was then directed to Major
"Guten Tag, Herr Major," Teppel greeted. "What can I do
"I hope you can help me, Herr Major. I understand that an SS officer
that was arrested by the Gestapo in Berlin yesterday is now in your
custody. SS Reichslieutenant Hans von Dashden?"
"Ja, but the matter concerning von Dashden is classified. It is
an....internal matter." Teppel paused. "How do you know about
von Dashden, Major, and what specifically are you inquiring about?"
"Von Dashden was seen talking to Angus Marsden and he was reported
by one of my men, who has since been killed. I am attempting to break
up an Underground sabotage operation and I think von Dashden is a member
of that operation, by a different name."
"Peter Newkirk. An RAF pilot being held prisoner at LuftStalag 13
in Hamleburg. Who is not there as we speak. He allegedly became ill,
was taken to the hospital in Hamelburg but is not there either. I think
Hans Von Dashden and Peter Newkirk are one in the same."
"Major, are you saying there are Allied POW's committing sabotage
against the Third Reich from inside a LuftStalag camp?"
"Ja I have documentation of such activities. I just have to catch
one of them and I can bring the whole operation down."
"Interesting....however, Major, I can confirm that von Dashden was
seen talking to Angus Marsden but he has never been part of any sabotage
operation. For one thing, the man does not speak English."
"Hmm....would it be possible, Herr Major, to see the prisoner? I
need not have to ask him any questions, but if he looks like who I
think he looks like, I will be asking you some questions..."
Teppel, appropriately, took offense. "Are you implying, Herr Major,
that I, as a loyal German and SS officer, am harboring enemies of the
"I am merely following all my leads. If he does not look like Peter
Newkirk, than I will have no further concern for him."
"Well then Major, he is being held here in Berlin at SS Headquarters.
Come when it is convenient for you, I will show you to the prisoner."
"I will be there tomorrow."
February 5, 1944
Major Teppel about had a fit when he hung up the phone after speaking
to Major Hochstetter. Not only did the Gestapo Major know of Colonel
Hogan's operations at Stalag 13, he was taking a damn well educated
guess on Peter Newkirk's current whereabouts. Thankfully, for both
his sake and Peter's, he had provided Newkirk with a different identity.
But now he had to find somebody to be Hans von Dashden long enough
to throw the Gestapo hound dog off the trail.
Teppel was also rethinking his trip to Stalag 13. Certainly if Hochstetter were to find out, he'd question it but Teppel could explain that it was on an unrelated matter and that the timing just happened to be coincidence. Hochstetter would still be suspicious, but Teppel could think of no other way to get a warning to Colonel Hogan and be able to assess the situation first hand. And he figured the Colonel was going to need all the help he could get.
February 5, 1944
Not twenty minutes after Major Teppel received Major Hochstetter's call,
Teppel was standing outside Newkirk's hotel room.
"I've discovered the who and the why for this whole mess that you're
in," Teppel said as soon as Newkirk opened the door. The Major
stepped in quickly and Newkirk shut the door.
Serilda was sitting by the coffee table and stood up as Teppel turned
"Does the name Wolfgang Hochstetter, Gestapo Major, mean anything
to you?" he asked.
"Hochstetter? He's only the bane of Stalag 13."
"Well he's looking to close down the Colonel's operation. And I
think you were the randomly picked first domino that had to fall."
Peter blanched. "He hasn't busted the Colonel, has he?"
"Not yet. But he knows you're not at the hospital in Hamelburg.
The two Gestapo officers that infiltrated Angus's operation were working
under his orders. They filed reports and he knows everything that's
happened. He's also guessed that Hans von Dashden is you."
Serilda gasped and Peter took a step back and sat down. "The dirty
"Luckily for you and myself, you have a different identity. But
I have to find somebody to be von Dashden for a spell."
"Because Hochstetter's coming here tomorrow. He wants to see if
the prisoner I have looks like Peter Newkirk."
Peter closed his eyes and drew in a heavy sigh. "I can't believe
Hochstetter's this close to figuring us out," he said as Serilda
sat down beside him on the couch. "We've always thrown him off
for years." He looked up at Teppel. "How did he know?"
"I'm not sure, but he said he had documentation of what all of you
have been doing."
"Terrific..." Peter muttered.
"Major Hochstetter has been the bane of Underground agents in Hamelburg
and Duesseldorf as well," Serilda said. "If he has plans
to ruin Colonel Hogan's operation, there is no telling where he will
"What do we do now?" Peter asked.
"Get you and Serilda back to Hamelburg. I'm still going to go to
Stalag 13 to see how much the Colonel is aware of."
"We'll stop him," Teppel said. "The Colonel is crafty
and I may be able to help by putting some official pressure on Hochstetter.
Keep in mind, he could be bluffing."
"I don't think so sir," Peter said. "He's holding most of the aces right now."
February 6, 1944
Major Teppel spent most of the night working in solitude swapping von
Dashden's fake Soldbuch and other forged documents with another prisoner's
identification, temporarily. By the morning, a new file on Hans von
Dashden had been prepared and Teppel had it with him when the Gestapo
Major arrived around mid afternoon.
"Hmm...." was all Hochstetter said for comment as he examined
the papers and the Soldbuch. He studied the photograph in the Soldbuch,
certainly not finding any likeness to the Englishman he was hoping
As promised, Teppel showed Hochstetter to the prisoner's cell, and the
man behind the bars matched the photo in the Soldbuch. Hochstetter
scrutinized the prisoner, trying to find something that looked even
vaguely like Peter Newkirk. Naturally, the prisoner looked back at
Hochstetter with reserve, wondering why the Gestapo was suddenly interested
in him. Hochstetter dismissed the look as wariness, considering von
Dashden's recent history with the Gestapo.
As much as he looked, however, the man looked nothing like Peter Newkirk.
Hochstetter turned to Teppel in obvious disappointment.
"Obviously this is not the man I was looking for..."
Teppel nodded. "I'm sorry I could not be of further help to you,
"Hmmm..." Hochstetter turned and walked down the hall. Teppel
looked at the prisoner and shook his head before following after Hochstetter.
The prisoner was thankful that he wasn't the man the Gestapo was interested
Once he was rid of the Gestapo, Major Teppel returned to his office. Before swapping von Dashden and the prisoner's Soldbuch's again, he picked up his telephone and asked be to connected to Luftstalag 13.
February 6, 1944
Kinch came up to the barracks from the tunnel below. The rest of the
heroes gathered around him in the middle of the barracks.
"I just over heard a phone call to Klink's office. Major Teppel
of the SS is coming here tomorrow to question some of us."
Hogan raised an eyebrow. "Teppel? You sure?"
Kinch nodded. "It was him. He gave Klink a list of the prisoners
he wants to question. Your name was right at the top."
"You think he knows about Marsden and what happened?" Carter
"More than likely," Hogan said. "But I wonder if he knows
Newkirk is in Berlin."
"How would he know?" LeBeau asked. "Unless..."
Hogan shook his head. "I don't even want to think about that. We'll just wait and see when he gets here."
February 7, 1944
The next morning, after roll call, Kinch went down to the tunnel to
listen in on any more phone calls that came to Klink's office. Particularly
if any came in or went out while Major Hochstetter was there. Hogan,
Carter and LeBeau were in the Colonel's quarters listening in on the
coffee pot. Not ten minutes passes when the Kommandant's phone rang.
Kommandant, I have Gruppenführer Steuben on the phone for
Major Hochstetter, Hilda said.
Ah, excellent. Put him through please. Klink covered the
mouth piece and looked at Hochstetter. General Steuben from Berlin
for you - Oh, yes hallo, Herr General! This is Kommandant Klink speaking.
Heil Hitler! Yes, hes right here...
Hochstetter snatched the phone away. Guten Tag, Herr General. Heil
Major, I am calling for a status on your plan. Have you determined
that the information from Major Hegel's file is true and accurate?
Is the American POW Colonel Hogan operating a sabotage operation from
Begging the Generals pardon, I do not trust the security
of this phone line. I will call you back from my office in Duseldorf
later today with an update.
Understandable Herr Major. I look forward to hearing your report.
Heil Hitler, Herr General." Hochstetter quickly hung up the phone.
Kinch tossed the handset down and made a dash for the ladder. The box spring clattered and the mattress lifted up with Kinch practically leaping out of the tunnel entrance.
The rest of the heroes came out of Hogan's quarters.
"He shushed that General up quick," Hogan said.
You were right about Hochstetter," Kinch said. "He is
trying to flush us out. The General wanted to know if the information
from a Major Hegels file was accurate and quote, is the American
POW Colonel Hogan running a sabotage operation from this camp?
Every head in the barracks looked up or turned to Colonel Hogan. Hogan
stared at Kinch in momentary alarm. That means he knows everything..."
Hogan turned from the men and paced for a moment, keeping his thoughts
Major Hegel ? Carter said. Aint that the fella
that we had to pay those diamonds to?
The same, Kinch replied.
Yeah, LeBeau piped in. The one that knew everything
And I thought all that information died with him, Hogan said,
returning to the group and stopping his pacing. I didnt
figure he kept notes.
Sir! Major Hochstetters leaving.
Hogan went over to the window to see the staff car leave the compound.
"Heading to Duseldorf to talk to that General, no doubt..."
"Everything is ready, Colonel," Carter said. "We're just
waiting on your command. We can be out of here in 10 minutes."
"Hochstetter has a lot of Gestapo guards around," LeBeau cautioned.
Hogan nodded. "I don't want to risk a mass escape, it's too dangerous. Besides, I refuse to give Hochstetter the satisfaction of being right."
February 7, 1944
Peter drove Major Teppels car into the yard of Stalag 13 and brought
it up to the front porch of Colonel Klinks office. He got out
and opened the back door for the Major and Serilda. The three of them
walked up the steps, saluting the guard as they went in.
Fraulien Hilda stood up. The Colonel is expecting you Major,
she said. She went to the Kommandants office door and announced
the Majors arrival.
Newkirk stayed behind the Major, keeping his face obscured as much as
possible from Hilda even though he now wore a mustache. A moment later
the Kommandant came out to greet his guest.
Ah, Herr Major, welcome! A pleasure always
the Major and his staff members into the office.
Teppel introduced Peter and Serilda as his driver and secretary respectively.
Peter clicked his heels and nodded to the Colonel but otherwise hung
back. Colonel Klink didnt seem to notice if Peter looked familiar.
"Now, Major, I have distributed the list to my sergeant of the guard,
he will be bringing the prisoners you wish to question here to my office."
Klink smiled and gave an extra beaming smile to Serilda, who handled
it with grace.
"My secretary will take dictation during the questioning,"
Teppel said. "I don't figure this to take too long and I appreciate
your accommodating me on such short notice."
"Oh no trouble, Herr Major," Klink said, still smiling. "My
stalag, is your stalag."
Over in the barracks, Colonel Hogan and the men had seen Teppel's car come in to the compound and the two additional people Teppel had with him. They then gathered in the Colonel's quarters to listen in but it was cut short up hearing from one of the other prisoners that Schultz was walking across the yard from the office to the barracks. The plug was pulled on the coffee pot in Hogan's quarters and the heroes returned to general quarters before Schultz came in with a paper in his hand.
Colonel Hogan. Major Teppel of the SS would like to speak with
Weve got a full house today, dont we Schultz? Major
Teppel, Major Hochstetter
Major Big Shots, Schultz concurred.
Major pains in the backside if you ask me, LeBeau said.
Okay, Schultz, Ill go talk to the nice SS man. Hogan
smiled and walked out of the barracks with Schultz following.
Back at Klink's office, Schultz announced the Colonel to Major Teppel
and then let Hogan into the office. The Kommandant vacated the office,
although he asked Major Teppel more than once if there was any way
that he could stay during the questioning. Teppel said there was no
reason for the Kommandant to be present and Klink was essentially pushed
out of the office. Hogan looked at Peter and Serilda, waiting for the
door behind him to close. When it did, he stepped forward and spoke.
I have to admit Im surprised to see the two of you here.
Is it safe to speak in here? Teppel asked.
Hogan nodded. The only listening devices in here are ours.
Peter grinned and the Major nodded in relief. They are fortunate
to be here with me, Colonel. Things got a little hairy in Berlin.
We know you got to Marsden; London dropped the treason charge and
said he told them he had been compromised by the Gestapo. What else
Marsden had a Gestapo agent following him all the time, Peter
said. When Serilda and I made contact with him, I went in as
an SS officer looking to defect. None of us knew the other guy at the
table was the bloody Gestapo. After we got Marsdens family out
of Berlin and on its way to England, the Gestapo busted me. It
was sheer luck that the Major here came to find out what was going
And the only reason I did that was because the information the
Gestapo gave me was that he had been seen talking to Marsden, who I
hadnt been able to contact for almost a week.
In other words, sheer luck, Hogan said. Any idea where
Marsden is now?
Probably Switzerland, Serilda replied. Hopefully on
his way to England.
Then he was successful in removing all trace of his operation in
Good. Because I may need his help in removing all traces of this
"Then you know Hochstetter is trying to cook your goose?" Teppel
Hogan nodded and looked at Peter. "You remember about a year ago,
a Gestapo officer named Hegel? He knew everything about us and wanted
1 million dollars in diamonds for his silence?"
Peter nodded. "Yeah...but we bumped 'em off..?"
"Yeah, we did, but apparently he kept notes. Hochstetter got a hold
of some file this guy had and he's waiting for the right opportunity
to bust this place wide open. He played it cool when he got here, giving
the story that you were looking to defect and that he wanted to talk
to you. When he heard you were supposed to be in the hospital, he went
to see if you were really there. Not finding you, hes since clamped
down on this camp like youve escaped. Hes been keeping
a particular watch on our barracks and he's brought in the radio truck.
This morning we found out just what he knew and how he knew it. Some
General called wanting a report on us but Hochstetter shushed
him and then left here like a shot to call this General back from Duesseldorf.
I have everything ready should we have to make a quick break, but I
wasn't sure if you would make it back here in time.
"He figured out Peter was under the name Hans von Dashden,"
Teppel added. "He couldn't confirm it because I swapped Peter's
von Dashden identity with another prisoner's temporarily. Hochstetter
came to SS Headquarters in Berlin yesterday to view the prisoner and
was quite disappointed that it was not Newkirk."
Hogan nodded. "That throws him off the trail long enough. Now we
have to figure how to beat him at his own game."
"I may have a suggestion," Teppel said.
"I'm open to anything," Hogan said.
Teppel smiled. "We'll do exactly as you said. We'll beat him at his own game."
After working out a plan and some details quickly, Hogan left the office and Teppel questioned the remaining prisoners on the short list. Teppel then met with Klink, the conversation being overheard by Hogan and the others in the barracks.
"That did not take you very long, Major," Klink said.
"Just a few questions, Colonel. I had no intention of doing a full
"Again, I do appreciate you accommodating me on such short notice."
"No trouble at all. Anything to assist the Obeveur."
Teppel smiled. "Which the SS appreciates. Tell me Colonel, has a
Gestapo Major named Hochstetter been here inquiring about an RAF pilot,
"Yes. Yes, he has. In fact, he was he earlier."
"Is he saying that Newkirk is looking to defect?"
"Yes..." Klink stared at Teppel. "Major, how do you know
of that--" Klink stopped short. "I mean, how did the SS become
aware of that? My understanding was that it was not highly publicized
"The Obeveur has been watching what Hochstetter has been doing.
Colonel, what I'm about to tell you is very sensitive and I trust that
you will treat it as such."
"Of course, Major."
"The Obeveur has reason to believe that Major Hochstetter is attempting
to commit treason."
Klink looked at Teppel so wide eyed his monocle fell from his eye. He
caught it, clumsily and looked back at Teppel. "Major Hochstetter??"
Teppel nodded and worked to hold back his laugh. "Ja...I am only
telling you this to warn you so that he does not try to implicate you
"Implicate me??" Klink said, alarmed.
Teppel raised a hand. "You are in no way under any suspicion, Colonel.
But another reason that I came here from Berlin is to confront the
Major. My questioning of the prisoners is only to confirm his actions.
Do you know when the Major will be back?"
"I believe he will be back later this afternoon. He's gone to Dusseldorf
to call Gruppenfuher Stueben."
"Hmm....very well then. I will be staying at the hotel in Hamelburg.
If you would contact me please when the Major comes back here to camp."
"Certainly, Herr Major, certainly!"
Over in the barracks, Hogan smiled. "Gentlemen, get ready for a German version of the Spanish Inquisition."
~End Part Three~