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.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the author or any legally assigned agents of the author.
© Copyright: 2003. Lisa Philbrick
February 7, 1944
Anjte had watched the four Gestapo officers for the past couple of days.
They loitered around Serilda's apartment building and the haufbrau
she worked at, asking about her, where was she and when was she expected
to return. Regulars of the haufbrau and tenants of the apartment building
gave no concrete answers. They all acted as if they hardly knew anything
Like a moth to the flame, Anjte felt compelled to keep her eye on the
Gestapo even though they terrified the hell out of her. No distance
was comfortable enough, but as long as she wasn't seen by them, Anjte
kept watch. Serilda had been gone nearly a week and Anjte didn't want
to see her friend come back and walk into a Gestapo homecoming and
Anjte herself certainly didn't want to meet up with any of them.
She didn't know specifically why they were looking for Serilda but Anjte
knew it could have been for anything. What Anjte didn't know was how
could Serilda be forewarned and who could Anjte trust and tell?
She lingered around the haufbrau long enough one afternoon, after the
Gestapo men had left, that the bartender noticed. He also recognized
her as one of Serilda's friends and figured she was just as concerned
about the Gestapo as he was. He took a break from tending the bar and
took a serving of coffee over to her.
Anjte looked up, startled. "Oh...Danke.."
He smiled and sat down across from her. "You look like you could
"Ja, I think so..." She took a sip and smiled at him. "It's
"House specialty. Serilda helped with it."
She looked at him at the mention of Serilda's name and then realized
her look alone probably revealed too much. She stared back down at
her coffee cup.
"It's okay," he said. "She is my friend too. We fight
on the same side in the same battle."
Anjte paused. "They are looking for her," she said quietly.
"I know. The munitions depot explosion in Essen about a month ago.
Of course, no one here has anything to say of it."
"They have been watching her apartment. I am worried she will come
back and they will catch her."
"You know she has gone to Berlin?"
"Yes..but I don't know when she is to come back."
The bartender paused. "My understanding is she would return first
to Hamelburg Hospital, but there is the possibility she could go to
her apartment ." He looked Anjte. "At the hospital, there
is a Dr. Weinstein that would be waiting for her. Would you be willing
to go there and tell him the Gestapo is waiting for her?"
"How would he would know to trust me?"
"Simple. Tell him Bruno sent you."
So Anjte did. She tried not to appear nervous asking the receptionist
at the hospital to see Dr. Weinstein and tried to sit as calmly as
possible while waiting for the doctor. Dr. Weinstein was cautious but
courteous when he came to greet Anjte but as soon as she said that
Bruno had sent her, he knew the young woman could be trusted.
Hearing that the Gestapo was waiting for Serilda was alarming to the
doctor. He thanked Anjte for telling him this and told her he would
make sure Serilda did not go back to her apartment, as long as Anjte
would continue to watch the apartment. Anjte said she would.
Which was what she was doing when she saw an SS staff car pull up to
Serilda's apartment building. After leaving Stalag 13, Major Teppel
had dropped Peter back at the hospital and drove on to drop Serilda
off at her place. Anjte saw the woman get out of the car but didn't
immediately recognize Serilda dressed in an SS secretary's uniform.
The staff car pulled away and the woman climbed the stairs and disappeared
into the lobby of the apartment building.
The Gestapo did not seem overly concerned as they watched the staff car
drive away. But Anjte wondered... She crossed the street nonchalantly
and walked down the sidewalk to the stairs of the apartment building.
She passed one Gestapo officer, giving a courteous nod and headed up
the steps. Another Gestapo officer looked at a photograph and then
at Anjte. His eyesight was apparently not such that he recognized the
woman in the SS secretary's uniform either. But then again, he wasn't
looking for a spy to show up dressed as an SS secretary.
Anjte entered the building and saw the woman standing at the mail boxes,
fishing for a key from her purse. She walked up beside her, recognized
it was Serilda and spoke softly.
"I thought you were supposed to return to the hospital?"
"I was but the plan changed."
"The Gestapo men are looking for you..."
Serilda paused after pulling her key out of her purse.
"They have been waiting for the past few days..."
At the hospital, after meeting up with Dr. Weinstein, Peter was escorted quickly to an empty room.
"Where is Serilda?"
"Major Teppel took her to her apartment."
Dr. Weinstein shook his head. "He should not have. The Gestapo is
waiting for her there!"
"Come, we must stop them from getting there, or get them out." Peter's arm was pulled on and the two men quickly left the room.
"Are they upstairs?" Serilda asked. She put her key back in
"I don't know. What does it matter? You could leave now. They did
not recognize you when you walked in, you can walk out. Walk down the
street, get out of here."
"I don't think it's that simple..." Serilda cast a cautious
glance toward the front door and then turned to Anjte. "Come with
"It's okay, come with me." She gently took Anjte by the hand
and they walked to the stairway.
Peter and Dr. Weinstein had jumped into the doctor's truck and had been
well on their way by the time Anjte had first crossed the street. The
were now cutting through traffic and were only five minutes away from
the apartment building.
Peter held on to the door handle for his own dear life and prayed for
Serilda's. "I can't believe it," he said. "How could
they have known?"
"They may not know of your trip to Berlin. Serilda has taken part
in other Underground operations, it could be for one of those."
"I don't know...they knew in Berlin she was a spy. They probably
found her real name somehow. We have to stop 'em Doc! We can't let
them catch her!"
"I make no argument of that, but I am driving as fast as I can."
Serilda shushed Anjte as they went up the stairs to the first floor.
Before reaching the top of the second landing to the first floor, Serilda
paused to look through the railing to see if anyone was loitering in
the hall. At the far end, shadowed by the window that looked out toward
the front side of the building, she could see a figure standing. She
turned back to Anjte.
"Go to the second floor landing," she whispered. "There's
a back door fire escape, go out that way and go down to the alley and
wait for me for only five minutes. If I don't come, you must leave."
"You must go. Go on!"
Shaking, Anjte went on ahead and turned the corner to go up the next flight of stairs to the second floor. Serilda watched her go and when Anjte disappeared beyond the railing, Serilda continued her way to the first floor. She walked casually to the apartment door and removed the key to unlock it.
Anjte climbed down the fire escape, past the first floor and jumped down to the ground. She then looked up at the first floor, drawing in a deep breath and feeling her heart pounding in her ears. What was Serilda doing??
Out front, Peter and Dr. Weinstein pulled up in a much more subdued manner than that which they drove. They parked across the street and looked toward the building, spotting the Gestapo men waiting outside. They did not appear to be mobilizing for anything.
"Maybe she didn't come back here," Peter said. "Maybe
Anjte was able to warn her. Teppel could have taken her to the hotel."
Peter looked at the building and noticed the alley way and the fire escape
on the side. "If she did go in and they didn't spot her, she could
have climbed down the fire escape there."
The doctor looked and nodded. "Ja."
"Come on, let's take a look." Peter stepped out of the truck
along with the doctor. They casually crossed the street and then paused
behind a parked car, waiting for the three Gestapo men to not be looking
in their direction. When the opportunity came, they quickly ducked
into the alley.
Peter looked up at the first floor apartment windows but didn't see any open.
Serilda walked into her apartment and closed the door behind her. She went to her bedroom and removed the black necklace case from the night stand, placing it in her purse. No sooner had she done that there was a knock at the door.
She stepped out of her bedroom and pulled the small pistol she had in her purse out. "Who is it?"
"Gestapo! Open up!"
With a little help from the doctor, Peter pulled himself up the fire escape just as the sound of a gun discharging echoed in the alley.
Peter flinched, at first thinking the Gestapo men had spotted him and
the doctor. He looked around wildly to both ends of the alley and then
down at the doctor, who was anxiously looking too.
There was shouting coming from the front of the building and Peter looked
in the window behind him and saw nothing. He scaled the fire escape
to look into the next one. He thought of where Serilda's apartment
door was located in relevance to the front of the building and he determined
he was looking into her apartment. He couldn't see much, but there
was no mistaken the bullet hole in the front door.
He pushed the window open and climbed into the apartment--at the same
time the door was opening. He looked up and saw a Gestapo officer on
the floor of the hall and two more were coming into the apartment.
They looked down the short hallway and spotted Peter instantly.
Peter turned and jumped back out the window. The glass pane above him
shattered from the Gestapo bullet. He lunged across the fire escape,
yelling to Dr. Weinstein to run. The doctor took off back to where
his truck was parked and Peter hauled himself down off the fire escape
and ran toward the back of the building.
Both Gestapo men had run to the window but only one looked out and saw
Peter running. He attempted to fire a shot from his Luger, kicking
a hole into an old wooden shipping crate as Peter passed it. The Englishman
kept running like hell.
Dr. Weinstein made it back to his truck and jumped in, bringing it to
life with a terrible roar. He took off down the street, thankful to
not see a single Gestapo officer come out of the front of the building.
He turned the truck down the next side street heading to the street
that ran behind the apartment building.
The Gestapo agents moved back through Serilda's apartment quickly meeting
up with the third one. The two quickly told the third about seeing
someone in an SS uniform jump out the back window. While one stayed
behind to search the apartment, the other two went off to report to
headquarters of what had just taken place. The one that had to search
didn't find Serilda...or much of anything suspicious in the apartment.
Peter didn't see Anjte at the backside of the building because she had
taken off after the first gun shot. He kept running in the direction
opposite of Dr. Weinstein.
Dr. Weinstein sped up and saw Peter running up the street. He gave a
quick honk on the horn and slowed down as the came up to Peter but
didn't stop. Peter ran along side the truck and grabbed the tailgate,
pulling himself up inside. Once the doctor saw he was in, he stepped
on the accelerator.
Peter climbed through the back of the truck and made his way to the front,
settling into the passenger seat. "What the bloody hell was that??"
"I don't know! Did you see Serilda?? What was the gun shot??"
"No, I didn't see Serilda, not that I had a lot of time to look
around. But there was a bullet hole in her front door and a Gestapo
officer sprawled on the floor in the hallway. Somebody had to
be inside the apartment to put a hole like that in the door."
The doctor just shook his head, not knowing what to make of it. The truck rumbled on back to the hospital.
February 8, 1944
Major Hochstetter didn't make it back to Stalag 13 until the next morning,
having been detained most of the previous afternoon by the bizarre
events at an apartment building in Hamelburg. The details he had made
little sense. Four officers had been assigned to watch for Serilda
Bachman's return, a woman wearing an SS secretary's uniform entered
Fraulien Bachman's apartment, the officer who witnessed that event
was then shot through the door of said apartment, two of the other
officers responded to the gun shot and saw what appeared to be an SS
officer was in the apartment who then escaped out the fire escape.
Also another man was seeing running from the scene. And somehow, in
all the confusion, the woman who had entered the apartment had disappeared.
Hochstetter was very disappointed. His plans to expose Colonel Hogan
had started to unravel and now, his only solid lead on the munitions
depot explosion had vanished into thin air.
Little did the Major know, his day was not going to get any better.
February 8, 1944
Peter didn't sleep well. Having Serilda disappear, not knowing if she
was dead or alive upset him greatly. He never got to say goodbye and
all he had to look forward to now was the heartache. It was already
beginning and he knew it was only going to get worse.
Dr. Weinstein tried to help by offering Peter encouraging words and even
a sedative to try to sleep, but the young pilot's dreams woke him up
as the events of the past week collided together and Serilda kept fading
away into the shadows.
By the time the morning rolled around, Peter was exhausted but there
was no chance for sleep. The sounds of the hospital and the traffic
outside kept him awake and finally he just sat up. He rubbed his hands
over his face and stretched but found that made little improvement
of his tired state.
Around quarter to ten, after Peter had dressed in his old RAF uniform
and had a couple of servings of strong coffee with breakfast, Dr. Weinstein
came and told Peter that Major Teppel was coming.
"Does he know about Serilda?"
"I told him," Weinstein nodded. "He is very sorry and
feels it somewhat his fault."
Peter shook his head. "He had no way of knowing."
"That is true...but still, he regrets the event."
Peter sighed. "I just wish I knew where she was..."
The doctor nodded and patted Newkirk on the arm before turning to leave.
February 8, 1944
"Major Teppel wants to talk to me?" Hochstetter said, looking
at the camp Kommandant seated at his desk.
Klink nodded. "He asked me yesterday when he was here questioning
a few of the prisoners to let you know that he is looking to speak
"Hmmm....should be the other way around. I would be curious to speak
to him about a few things," Hochstetter said. "Which prisoners
did he question?"
Klink rattled off the short list, finishing with Colonel Hogan.
"Colonel Hogan...." Hochstetter repeated, very curious now.
"If you don't mind, Kommandant, I'd like to speak to Colonel Hogan
myself." Hochstetter turned and left the office. He marched across
the compound to Barracks Two and the door was opened for him before
he got there.
He stopped and then stepped into the barracks and looked around intently.
Colonel Hogan sat at the table with the other heroes, shuffling a deck
"Hey Major," Hogan greeted. "Care to join us for an innocent
game of cards?"
"No...I would like to speak with you for a moment, Colonel, if possible."
Hogan grinned. "Certainly. Step right into my office here..."
The Colonel stood up and walked to his quarters with Hochstetter following.
Hochstetter closed the door as Hogan turned to face him. "What's
on your mind, Major?"
"Major Teppel of the SS Obeveur was here yesterday, ja?"
"Ja, we had a nice chat. Huh, word sure does travel fast around
here. How'd you know that?"
"Colonel Klink told me. He also said that Teppel was looking to
speak with me as well."
Hogan turned his gaze off to the side and smiled. "Yeah....yeah,
"You know what it is he wants to talk to me about?"
Hogan looked up. "Oh yeah. It's a doozy let me tell you."
"Perhaps you could tell me?"
"Well, I suppose I could but...I really don't think you'd like it."
"Really?? Hmmm...." Hochstetter paced for a moment. "It
wouldn't have anything to do with Underground operations in this area....infact,
in very close proximity to this camp, would it?"
"No..." Hogan said with thought. "No, that wasn't the
line of questioning I got."
"No? Isn't it true Colonel Hogan that you are running a sabotage
operation from this camp?"
Hogan looked at Hochstetter and burst out laughing. "Me?? A sabotage
operation from a POW camp??? Oh that's beautiful!"
"You find that amusing, Colonel?"
"I find that an absolute riot! You sure have an interesting sense
of what I can and can't do as compared to what the Army Air Corps thought
I could do. You honestly think I'm crafty and crazy enough to run a
sabotage operation from inside a POW camp? Let alone one of
the toughest camps in all of Germany?!"
"No, I don't think. I know! I have documentation of your activities,
your radio frequencies, the tunnels--everything!"
"Tunnels??" Hogan laughed even more. "Tunnels?
What did we dig it out with? The wings on my uniform??" Hogan
kept laughing and held a hand up. "Stop it, you're killin' me.
Wait until Teppel gets here and finds out you've been cooking this
"Major Teppel more than likely will share in this discovery."
"Ho ho I don't think so. Lemme tell you what he wanted to know,
heck you might even find this funny yourself." Hogan paused to
chuckle and then continued. "Major Teppel thinks that you are
looking to either defect or commit some form of treason!"
Hochstetter paled. "WHAT?"
"Yeah! Ain't that a riot??"
Hochstetter didn't say anything right away. Apparently the riot was too
"Me??" he said finally. "He thinks that....I am
going to commit treason...?"
"Yeah....that's pretty much what the questions alluded to."
Hogan studied Hochstetter. "You're not laughing though. You don't
think it's funny?"
"Not really..." Hochstetter looked like a man who just had
the wind knocked out of him and Hogan couldn't help but be amused at
"Well, I think it's pretty funny," Hogan said. "I mean,
the idea of you committing treason is like me being a spy."
Hochstetter snapped out of his daze and glared at Hogan. "You are a spy! And I will prove it and I will show Major Teppel that I'm not committing any form of treason!" Hochstetter turned and stormed out of Hogan's quarters. The Colonel watched him march through general quarters and out the door and grinned.
Down the road from camp, an SS staff car carrying three SS guards rumbled along. Behind it, another staff car driven by Major Teppel slowed to a stop, so the passenger could be let out.
Peter looked at the Major before closing the door. "Good luck, sir.
And thank you for all you've done."
Teppel nodded. "Good luck to you, Newkirk. In everything."
Peter gave a nod and shut the door. The staff car pulled away and Peter ducked into the bushes, waiting for one last car to pass.
In the compound, Major Hochstetter was half way across the yard heading back to Klink's office when the staff car carrying the SS guards Teppel had requested, pulled into the yard. The three guards spotted Hochstetter and the car came to a quick stop. Hochstetter suddenly found himself looking at the business ends of three rifles.
"What is this??" he demanded.
The rifles were raised higher. "Hands up!"
Hochstetter immediately reached for the clouds.
Over in the barracks, Hogan and his men watched gleefully. "There's
a Kodak moment right there, " Hogan mused.
Colonel Klink came out of his office to see what was going on but he
quickly stepped back upon seeing the SS guards holding Hochstetter
at bay. Major Teppel then drove in through the gate and brought his
staff car to a stop next to the car of the guards. He emerged from
the vehicle and looked at Hochstetter.
"Guten Morgen, Herr Major," he said and smiled. "Just the person I'm looking for."
Newkirk, meanwhile, watched as the Gestapo staff car went by heading to camp. With the coast clear, he stepped out into the road and began walking back to Stalag 13.
"What is the meaning of this??" Hochstetter asked.
"Well, Major, we have one more guest coming. I think we'll wait
until he arrives before we begin our proceedings here."
"What proceedings? Who's coming?"
"Gruppenfurher Stohler of the Gestapo in Dusseldorf."
"Ja. I will tell you, Major, that suspicion of treason is a very
serious accusation to be made against anyone. Naturally, the Gestapo
does not like to think that one of their own could think of such a
Hochstetter fumed. "I have not and would not ever
"I have suggestions to the contrary. It'll be up to you to disprove
them." Teppel turned to Klink. "Kommandant, if possible,
I would like to include Colonel Hogan in these proceedings as well."
"Colonel Hogan, Major?"
"Yes..." Hochstetter agreed. "Let us have Colonel Hogan
present during the proceedings. Because when the Major here fails to
prove me as a traitor, I am going to prove that the Colonel is running
a sabotage operation from this camp."
"Sabotage operation??" Klink repeated. "From Stalag 13?!?"
Hochstetter looked at Klink. "Yes, from Stalag 13, Kommandant..."
The Major's words carried an implied threat, that being if proven true,
Colonel Klink might find himself on a one way trip to the Eastern Front.
"Schultz! Go get Hogan!"
"Jawhol, Herr Kommandant!"
As Schultz headed for the barracks, the staff car carrying Gruppenfurher
Stohler entered the camp. After the car parked, the General approached
with three Gestapo guards of his own in tow.
Hochstetter cleared his throat and stood up as straight as possible.
"Uh...Gruppenfurher Stohler, I can assure you that any accusations
Major Teppel has made are false--"
"Are they??" Stohler said. "He has made some very serious
conclusions regarding your conduct of the past couple of weeks. For
your sake, you better hope they are false, otherwise your service to
the Reich and the Furher will come to a shameful end." Stohler
looked at Teppel. "Shall we begin, Major?"
Teppel clicked his boots and nodded. "Jawhol, Herr Gruppenfurher."
He looked to his SS guards who influenced Hochstetter into Klink's
office with the ends of their rifles. Major Teppel followed with Stohler,
his guards and Colonel Klink bringing up the rear.
When Colonel Hogan arrived a few moments later, Major Teppel was seated
behind Klink's desk, General Stohler was seated just off to the side,
Major Hochstetter was seated front and center with two of the Gestapo
guards posted behind him. Colonel Klink had to make do standing by
his safe. One SS guard stood by the door, the other two having been
posted outside the office with the third Gestapo guard.
"Look's like the party's just about to start," Hogan said as
he came in.
"Hogan, please..." Klink said. The Kommandant hadn't had this
many Gestapo and SS men in camp before and the sight was nerve wracking.
Teppel smiled. "Welcome, Colonel. I'm sorry we don't have enough
"It's all right, I'm used to standing for long periods."
"Hopefully we won't be here too long," Teppel said, and turned
his attention to the Gestapo Major seated in the middle of the room.
"Major Hochstetter, is it true that a Lieutenant Bernard Weisburg
and a Sturmscharführer Kohler were working under your command
"And they were sent there to infiltrate an Underground group run
by Angus Marsden?"
"Ja. It was all part of--"
"Is it true Major, that Lt. Weisburg was killed and Angus Marsden
had fled Berlin?"
"Er...unfortunate but, ja"
"Colonel Klink, would you tell us what day Peter Newkirk left this
compound and went to Hamelburg Hospital?"
"And when was he discovered missing?"
"The day after."
Klink pointed. "Major Hochstetter."
Teppel turned his gaze back to Hochstetter. "Isn't it true, Major
Hochstetter that you went to Hamelburg Hospital knowing fully well
that Peter Newkirk would not be there?"
"Well, ja but--"
"And isn't it true, Major, that Peter Newkirk was not looking to
defect but that you were providing him additional cover for him to
"No? Isn't that what Weisburg and Kohler were trying to do by infiltrating
Angus Marsden? To find an easy way out of Germany for themselves and
"Nein! That is not what they were doing!"
The door to Klink's office suddenly opened and Schultz looked in. "Herr
Kommandant, it's Newkirk. He has just come in the front gate."
"Hey, hey, all right!" Hogan said and looked at Klink. "And
you said you couldn't find him."
"Hogan!" Klink scolded and then looked at Schultz. "Bring
"Jawhol, Herr Kommandant."
Hogan grinned. "It'll be good to see ol' Newkirk again--won't it
Major?" He looked at Hochstetter.
"No, it won't..." Hochstetter looked at the General. "Gruppenfurher
Stohler, I can explain everything. Major Teppel is twisting things
around! Everything the Major has mentioned that I have done has been
done as part of a plan to expose an enemy sabotage operation that exits
in this camp!"
"Hmmm, yes the information from Major Hegel's file. Gruppenfurher
Stueben told me about that this morning, said he was disappointed that
you were taking so long to produce any real results. I wonder now if
you have been using this as a distraction of your real activities."
Schultz returned with Newkirk in tow. The Englishman walked in and smiled
at everyone in the room. He then looked at Hochstetter.
"There you are," Newkirk said. He then lowered his voice. "I
was waitin' for ya in town--"
"GAH!!" Hochstetter suddenly stood up but was grabbed and held
by the two guards. "Herr Gruppenfurher please! Allow me the chance
to prove to you and everyone here," he pointed to Hogan and Newkirk,
"that these two men are committing sabotage! They have a radio
to London and there is a tunnel system that runs beneath this camp!"
Newkirk looked at Hogan. "Us? What, has he gone mad?"
"I dunno. He had me in stitches earlier. He really thinks I'm capable
of international espionage. Can you imagine?"
"Huh....well, I can't recall any such training when I was in pilot
school sir," Newkirk said.
"Silence," Teppel said. He looked back to Hochstetter. "If
the man wishes to attempt to prove his innocence, then he should be
allowed to do so. Gentlemen, we will convene in the barracks."
"I hope you don't mind a little mess," Hogan said. "The
cleaning lady hasn't been in yet."
"Hogan!" Klink hollered.
Major Teppel and General Stohler led the procession out of Klink's office
and across the compound. Hogan and Newkirk dropped back a bit with
Schultz behind them.
"Thank you, sir. Hochstetter looked like he was sweatin' in there."
"He was. You missed the best part. Teppel's guards had Hochstetter
at gun point."
Newkirk grinned. "Oh, what a lovely image, sir."
When Major Teppel and General Stohler came into Barracks Two, all of
the prisoners stood at immediate attention. Hochstetter then came in
and cast an eagle eye on each prisoner, despite the two guards that
stood behind him. Klink, Hogan, Newkirk and Schultz were the last ones
Hochstetter searched the barracks, checking underneath the table, pulling
mattresses off the bottom bunks, checking suspicious floor boards,
looking in Hogan's quarters, checking underneath foot lockers....he
kept looking...and looking. And looking.
Nothing looked anything like an entrance to a tunnel. Even the actual entrance itself was effectively disguised. Hochstetter looked right at it when he pulled the mattress off the bottom bunk that covered the entrance. The floor boards had been put back in place and the mechanism to raise the box spring and drop the slats as a ladder had been disabled. It would take them a couple of days to put it all back together, but to foil Hochstetter it was all worth it.
General Stohler looked at Teppel. "I've seen enough, Major. Obviously
there is not a sabotage operation taking place here."
"But there is!" Hochstetter said. "I know there is! I
have an entire file documenting everything! Their radio frequencies,
codes, the tunnel system. Everything! I just need a little more time--"
"You've been given sufficient time, Herr Major," Stohler said.
"It is apparent that you have used that time for other activities."
"I have not! Weisburg and Kohler were sent to disrupt Marsden's
operation." Hochstetter stood flustered for a moment and then
looked at Teppel. "What about--what about Hans von Dashden? Has
Major Teppel explained that to you??"
"Yes, he has. Hans von Dashden was sent to Berlin to check up on
what Lt. Weisburg and Sergeant Major Kohler were really doing. Weisburg
was killed when von Dashden confronted him, tried to kill von Dashden.
An unfortunate turn of events but it appears Weisburg was willing to
risk everything to try to get out of Germany, and to try to help you
get out as well."
"That's a lie! I would never consider treason!"
"You know..." Hogan's voice carried calmly, "in fairness
to the major it is possible that Weisburg or whatever his name is,
may have had his own agenda. When the SS showed up, Weisburg probably
pointed the finger at the Major here in order to try to take the heat
off of him. Of course, he ended up getting killed anyway."
Teppel nodded. "The possibility is noted. However, I'm surprised
Colonel that you would offer something in defense of Major Hochstetter
here, after he has tried, repeatedly to accuse you of spying and sabotage."
"Well, I have a peculiar sense of honor. Besides, Hochstetter's
just doing his job. Even if the information he was working from is
Hochstetter gaped at Hogan. On the brink of being hanged and pulled back
by the casual suggestion from an American POW...
"It's obviously false, isn't it Major?" Hogan asked, while
casting a look at Hochstetter that said, if you say no, I'll dig
your grave for you...
"Uh...it would appear I have been following a false lead...."
"And I am inclined to believe the Colonel's suggestion that Lt.
Weisburg had an agenda of his own and was looking to smear his superior
officer when things went wrong," General Stohler said. "Still,
I will need to compile all of this information for my report and final
Hochstetter swallowed. "Jawhol..." Well he was sorta off the
"You will dismiss your men from Stalag 13, Major, and will be escorted
back to headquarters in Dusseldorf by the guards here."
"Jawhol, Herr Gruppenfurher."
"That will be all here. Major Teppel." Stohler nodded to the
SS Major. Teppel in turn bowed slightly as the General departed.
The barracks cleared out, Teppel being the last one to leave. He turned to the heroes and gave a smile with a thumbs up. The heroes nodded and smiled in thanks as the Major slipped out the door.
Peter had enough time to tell the Colonel and the others of what happened in Hamelburg before Schultz came to fetch the two of them to see Kommandant Klink. A few moments later, Newkirk and Hogan stood in the middle of Klink's office.
"Corporal Newkirk," Klink began. "Do you mind telling
us where you've been for the past week?"
"The whole time?"
"You were in Hamelburg the whole time and not once were you
spotted by Major Hochstetter's men or the camp guards??"
Newkirk grinned. "Correct, sir."
"You weren't really sick were you at the time you left here to go
"No sir, I wasn't."
"And you had no intention of defecting to our side did you?"
Klink scowled. "So, corporal, having eluded capture for a week,
why all of a sudden did you decide to return to camp today?"
"Well sir, because of all the Gestapo men and the guards from here,
I couldn't do much. I figured I'd just come back here. Have to admit,
I kinda missed the old place."
"Hmm...well seeing as you missed it so much, I'm giving you thirty
days in the cooler for trying to escape!"
"Now Colonel, wait a minute--" Hogan started.
"Thirty days and no less! Punishment to begin immediately! Disssss-misssed!"
With nothing more to say, Hogan and Newkirk left the office. They walked
out of the building and paused on the porch.
"Small price to pay sir," Newkirk said and smiled.
Hogan patted Newkirk on the shoulder. "We'll see if we can get you out for good behavior."
February 9, 1944
About an hour after the noon roll call, two young women arrived at the
camp gate with a small push cart, loaded with vegetables and German
breads and muffins. They sweet talked the guards and Schultz to let
them in for a moment and this scene did not go unnoticed by Colonel
Hogan and the heroes. They, with several other prisoners, gathered
at the cart to sample the vittles and the Colonel noticed that one
of the women looked very familar.
Serilda smiled at him. Anjte and the other prisoners effectively kept
Schultz distracted as Hogan stepped closer to Serilda. She surreptitiously
removed a small locket case from beneath a loaf of bread and turned
to Hogan, slipping it inside his bomber jacket.
"Special delivery?" he said.
She smiled. "Yes. Would please see that Peter gets that?"
He nodded. "I will. He'll be very happy to see this."
"Is he okay, Colonel?"
"He's all right, other than having to spend thirty days in the cooler
for trying to escape." He paused. "He thought maybe you had
been killed after what happened in Hamelburg."
"He was there?"
"I knew I would have to flee but I did not think that he would be
there to see it all happen. I am glad I came here then."
"He'll be glad you did too. Is there anything you want me to tell
"There is a note in the case. The only other thing I could give
him, you can't pass along to him."
"What is it?"
Serilda glanced to see what Schultz and the other guards were doing and
then placed a quick kiss on the Colonel's lips.
He grinned. "You're right, I can't pass that along."
She smiled at him and patted him on the arm. "Thank you, Colonel.
For all you have done."
Schultz now decided that it was time for the women to be on their way.
With his coat full of vegetables and bread, he shooed the prisoners
away from the cart and ordered the guards to open the front gate and
let the women leave. The women did so as ordered and Shutlz was thankful
that the Kommandant didn't see any of this
Later that afternoon, Hogan paid a visit to Newkirk.
"Got something to perk you up a little bit..." Hogan said and
reached into his jacket. He pulled the locket case out and handed it
to Newkirk. He didn't say where he got it right away.
Newkirk looked at the case and then carefully opened it. Tucked to the
top side of the case was a piece of paper. Displayed on the velvet
board was a gold necklace with a heart shaped locket with the initials
"SB" in a fine script on the front and the word "Freedom"
etched on the back. Inside the locket were two pictures, one a man
and the other a woman. The woman looked very much like Serilda and
Peter figured he was looking at her parents. He pulled the piece of
paper from the top side of the case and then looked at the Colonel.
"This was Serilda's," he said.
Hogan nodded. "She came to camp with another woman looking like
peddlers a little while ago. She left that for you. I told her what
you saw in Hamelburg. She had no idea you were there but was glad she
was leaving this for you so you would know she was okay."
Newkirk smiled. "I'm glad she left it too. Thank you, sir."
Hogan nodded. He then turned to leave to let Peter read the note alone. Once the Colonel was gone, Newkirk unfolded the paper...
This is short as I do not have a lot of space. Anjte and I are on our way to England with help from Emil. I hope this note and the locket get to you safely and that you are well. As long as you hold this locket close to your heart you will always be in mine. When the war ends, and freedom has found you and the world, I am sure we will meet once again to celebrate the victory. I know it in my heart.
He smiled and folded the note back as it was, carefully tucking it back into the locket case. He then closed the case and held it to his heart.
Back to Main Page
Author acknowledgments: Special thanks to Dreamer for her early reading of this story and valuable input, and to Cuz for the very effective incentive program to finish the story. LOL. Also, thanks to the boys of Stalag 13 for being my creative salvation in my own tumultuous time. Email me with comments!