Bad Day in Berlin - Cast - Germans - Sergeant Schultz

Sergeant Schultz

Hauptfeldwebel (Senior Master Sergeant) Hans Georg Schultz, serial number 23781 (John Banner) is Klink's bumbling, highly unmilitary 300-pound Sergeant of the Guard. Schultz is a basically good-hearted man who, when confronted by evidence of the prisoners' covert activities, will simply look the other way, repeating "I hear nothing, I see nothing, I know nothing!" (or, more commonly as the series went on, simply "I see nothing–NOTHING!") to avoid being blamed for allowing things to have gotten as far as they already had—which might see him given a one-way trip to the Eastern Front, if not executed as a traitor for his apparent complicity. This eventually became one of the main catchphrases of the series and probably the most widely used by fans of the show. Though generally shown as being borderline incompetent, he has (on occasions) proven his mettle, as can be seen in episodes such as "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to London", where he catches Hogan assisting another man attempting to escape; he even goes so far as to stand up to Hogan, moving him along at gunpoint.

Schultz, in the sixth season, receives a temporary promotion to Kommandant of Stalag 13. In the episode "Kommandant Schultz", Burkhalter brings an order from Berlin to all Luft Stalags to begin officer training for their most senior non-commissioned officers. Schultz does so well in the job that Hogan and Klink have to join forces to discredit Schultz and get him reduced back to sergeant-of-the-guard.

In another episode "Hogan Goes Hollywood" — a satire on the movie/television industry — an ego-driven movie star with the U.S. Army Air Forces (his contract says that if captured, he must be exchanged for three Generals) is sent to Stalag XIII where he makes a propaganda movie, with Schultz as the Kommandant and Klink as a Sergeant. The movie star ordered this change, insisting that Schultz had a more commanding presence and greater charisma when pretending to be the Kommandant than Klink did at his own job.

Like Colonel Klink, he is a veteran of World War I. His hometown is Heidelberg, and in civilian life he is the owner of Germany's biggest and most successful toy manufacturing company, The Schatzi Toy Company. With the onset of war, Schultz was involuntarily recalled to military duty and lost control of his toy factory as it was converted to military use. He has a wife, Gretchen (played by Barbara Morrison in Season 2, Episode 24) and five children whom he sees only on infrequent leave. However, many times he is unfaithful to his wife, for instance in the Season 3 Episode 2 episode, "Sergeant Schultz Meets Mata Hari," in which he dates a woman who is a secret Gestapo agent. LeBeau once refers to Schultz as a Social Democrat, a party which the Nazis banned in 1933, and Schultz on several occasions is shown to be very disgusted by Hitler in particular and the Nazis in general. In one episode he mentions how much he preferred having a kaiser rule Germany. Schultz is also a bad gambler, frequently playing cards with the prisoners, and usually losing - although some of this might be caused by Newkirk fixing the games. He is also a heavy drinker.

Schultz carries a Krag-Jørgensen rifle, which he never keeps loaded and tends to misplace or even hand to the POWs when he needs to use both hands ("Give me back my gun, or I'll SHOOT!"). He never wears the chin-strap on his helmet. He wears a fictitious version of the Iron Cross (4th Grade) awarded by General Kammler, a friend from World War I, who addresses Schultz by first name, and whom Schultz addresses as Lieutenant Kammler. Schultz needs glasses to read and is described by Klink as being "in his forties." In reality, Banner was in his late fifties.

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Bad Day In Berlin - Controversies - At Time of Broadcast
... Heroes and the movie Stalag 17 is that they both had a heavy set Sergeant Schultz in a Luftwaffe prisoner-of-war camp during World War II ... For example the Sergeant Schultz on Hogan’s Heroes was inept and easily bribed, quite the opposite of the Stalag 17 Sergeant Schultz who was a cunning and ... It too has a Sergeant Schultz who was inept and forever taking bribes ...

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