Robert Clary 'Hogan's Heroes' Corporal LeBeau R.I.P.

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ASPartOfMe
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23 Nov 2022, 3:55 am

naturalplastic wrote:
I am not a knee jerk defender of wokness, but...

People were not more thick skinned then. They were actually more THIN skinned, more easily offended, and more dishonest then. Audiences are more honest about the subject in question now. Not more 'overly sensitive'. THATS the difference. For one thing Vietnam was only just then happening, and Iraq and Afghanistan were still in the future. We had a popular war to look back at, and the three nasty divisive wars weve had since were not yet in the rear view mirror. Today we have the need to look war straight in the eye in an honest way that folks back then were unwilling to do.

But there is another factor too (besides the fact that we now have more wars than just THE war in living memory).

And duhhhh... of course the popularity of HH did not 'exist in a vacuum'. My Sixties childhood was only a generation after the biggest war in human history, and everyone's dad was a veteran of it. So of course pop culture was still obsessed with the war, and of course they had tons of TV shows about it back then. How could they not have? But time and history has moved on since then. Thats why you see less WWII stuff in later decades on screen. Not because folks are 'offended' by it.

But also back then pop culture was obsessed with a mythologized and sanitized version of that war, and of war in general.

And the term 'holocaust' only meant 'a big barn fire' back then. It wasnt commonly heard as applying to the Final Solution until the Seventies. And it was in the late Seventies that audiences were shocked by a TV miniseries entitled "Holocaust" that was more nitty gritty than audiences were used to up to then.

The trend toward WWII being depicted on screen less frequently than during the Sixties, but with increasingly greater raw honesty when it iS depicted continues.

Compare "the Longest Day" to "Saving Private Ryan". The older movie still stands up, but seems hugely sanitized today largely because of the later film which has more All Quiet on the Western Front type gore among other things.

The other reason for that double think back in the Sixties (the obsession with the war, but only with seeing it through rose colored glasses) is because the audience back then was largely the generation that actually experienced the reality of the war and actively needed to forget much of that reality (and who can blame them?). The successive generations of audiences need to remember that reality. The costs as well as any glorious payoff to military adventuring.

I dont blame our fathers for wanting to forget the sights of the death camps they liberated. But posterity must see the footage. And after you do see it, or see Schindler's List, or Sophie's Choice it can make it creepy to watch a goofy sitcom about guys in a German prison camp.

Not saying that you cant enjoy HH, but I am saying that your analysis is quite simplistic to say the least.


That Hogan's Heroes did not exist in a vacuum may be obvious to people our age but most WP members don't remember those days. People in general were more "thick-skinned" then. I remember the Hong Kong Flu pandemic of 1968. 5 people in my 6th grade class of 25 showed up one day. My school did not close, businesses did not close. In hindsight that was really stupid, but it is not evidence of being thin-skinned. This is not a value judgment, it is a matter of experience if you survived the Great Depression, fighting in World War Two, "first world problems" as we describe them today just do not seem traumatizing (Not everybody of course there was "shell shock").

"Holocaust" might have meant a big barn fire where you grew up(I never heard it used that way) but America did not forget the holocaust. The films showing bulldozers pouring naked emaciated bodies into ditches were flown to America and shown as part of newsreels prior to movies right away. They were still on TV documentaries when I was growing up. If you were Jewish it was drummed into you the similarities between the Jewish position in America and in Germany prior to the Nazis.

I agree that Vietnam was a game-changer for the reasons you cited. The number of war movies dropped a lot. The ones that remained were more realistic. But comedy was not completely absent. Most knew that M*A*S*H* the movie and TV series while set in Korea was about Vietnam. Those films were released. This begs the question was it Americans who were skittish or was it Hollywood falsely thinking Americans were skittish? I think the latter. We will never know.

I disagree that people were less honest back then. Does "All In The Family" ring a bell?

kraftiekortie wrote:
Hogans Heroes never made any great claims to any depth or morality. It was a goofy comedy. Colonel Hogan was pretty much a sleazebag, though an effective and smart one.

The intention was to entertain, and keep viewers. Television, and the media in general, usually wasn’t directly confrontational. Directly confronting issues really started, in the US, with All In The Family, with Archie Bunker.

My father was in the Army at the time of Korea. He never went to Korea….though he hated talking about his time in Army. He wanted to forget that part of his life.

This is an important point. Not everything was politicized then. People just thought it was funny(or not)


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23 Nov 2022, 5:55 am

Sad to hear his passing. I didn't know Clary was a concentration camp survivor?

The whole cast got together famously and had great chemistry. I enjoyed the entire series and particularly the clever way the prisoners ran an entire resistance operation under the noses of the Nazis. Klemperer and Bannerman were actually my favourite actors despite being part of the "bad guys". Also the actor who did the SS General Burkhalter (Leon Askin) was also Jewish.

Despite the unlikely scenario ever occuring (the Nazis tended to procure fairly evil individuals to run POW camps) , the show managed to be both serious and funny. Like Gilliagan's Island you could forgive the somewhat unbelievable story.

I think this now means all of the regularly appearing cast have now passed.



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23 Nov 2022, 6:28 am

Kermit Washington still survives, though only a regular during the last couple of years.



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23 Nov 2022, 7:45 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
Kermit Washington still survives, though only a regular during the last couple of years.

Kenneth Washington? Yes, he appeared as a regular in the final season. He replaced Ivan Dixon's character of Kinchloe or Kinch.



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23 Nov 2022, 7:50 am

Oh yeah….Kenneth lol.

Kermit was a basketball player in the 70s-80d.



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23 Nov 2022, 10:35 am

I was born in Germany. My dad was Army ROTC (USA). He then went to Germany as a M.P. Officer. He was stationed in Berlin (the divided city). The year I was born was the year Dr. Martin Luthor King was shot. Berlin was split into West Berlin and East Berlin at the time but entirely surrounded be East Germany. To get from Wert Berlin to West Germany the U.S. GI’s had to drive through Russian occupied territory. If they took a wrong turn they were picked up and held as “spys”. It was my dad’s job to train the G.I.s not to take wrong turns and to go talk to the Russians and get the G.I.s back.
My mom and dad lived in officer housing off base. Mom had to learn enough broken German to buy food in local shops. Their neighbors in the apartment building were German citizens.
I was 18 months old when my dad decided not to re-up and take a job as a General’s aide. We then moved back to the U.S. Most of what I know about that time is second hand.

That was the context I had when I watched the show.


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23 Nov 2022, 11:59 am

I am sad to hear of his passing. He was really good on the show. I watch the show on MeTV whenever I am back in Kansas and have a dvd box set of the first season. I might look into buying the full series set now.



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23 Nov 2022, 3:19 pm

I think when it comes to German POW camp accounts it is important to understand that historically there is a difference between the conditions in the Luft Stalags and other camps.

Wikipedia - Stalag Luft III
Wikipedia - Krakow-Plaaszow concentration camp

Other relevant links:

Wikipedia - The Great Escape (film)
Wikipedia - Stalag 17
Wikipedia - Stalag
Wikipedia - Hogan's Heroes
Wikipedia - Schindler's List
Wikipedia - Auschwitz concentration camp
Wikipedia - Names of the Holocaust
Wikipedia - Holocaust denial
Wikipedia - Nazi persecution of the Catholic Church in Germany


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03 Dec 2022, 12:08 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
I am not a knee jerk defender of wokness, but...

People were not more thick skinned then. They were actually more THIN skinned, more easily offended, and more dishonest then. Audiences are more honest about the subject in question now. Not more 'overly sensitive'. THATS the difference. For one thing Vietnam was only just then happening, and Iraq and Afghanistan were still in the future. We had a popular war to look back at, and the three nasty divisive wars weve had since were not yet in the rear view mirror. Today we have the need to look war straight in the eye in an honest way that folks back then were unwilling to do.

But there is another factor too (besides the fact that we now have more wars than just THE war in living memory).

And duhhhh... of course the popularity of HH did not 'exist in a vacuum'. My Sixties childhood was only a generation after the biggest war in human history, and everyone's dad was a veteran of it. So of course pop culture was still obsessed with the war, and of course they had tons of TV shows about it back then. How could they not have? But time and history has moved on since then. Thats why you see less WWII stuff in later decades on screen. Not because folks are 'offended' by it.

But also back then pop culture was obsessed with a mythologized and sanitized version of that war, and of war in general.

And the term 'holocaust' only meant 'a big barn fire' back then. It wasnt commonly heard as applying to the Final Solution until the Seventies. And it was in the late Seventies that audiences were shocked by a TV miniseries entitled "Holocaust" that was more nitty gritty than audiences were used to up to then.

The trend toward WWII being depicted on screen less frequently than during the Sixties, but with increasingly greater raw honesty when it iS depicted continues.

Compare "the Longest Day" to "Saving Private Ryan". The older movie still stands up, but seems hugely sanitized today largely because of the later film which has more All Quiet on the Western Front type gore among other things.

The other reason for that double think back in the Sixties (the obsession with the war, but only with seeing it through rose colored glasses) is because the audience back then was largely the generation that actually experienced the reality of the war and actively needed to forget much of that reality (and who can blame them?). The successive generations of audiences need to remember that reality. The costs as well as any glorious payoff to military adventuring.

I dont blame our fathers for wanting to forget the sights of the death camps they liberated. But posterity must see the footage. And after you do see it, or see Schindler's List, or Sophie's Choice it can make it creepy to watch a goofy sitcom about guys in a German prison camp.

Not saying that you cant enjoy HH, but I am saying that your analysis is quite simplistic to say the least.


That Hogan's Heroes did not exist in a vacuum may be obvious to people our age but most WP members don't remember those days. People in general were more "thick-skinned" then. I remember the Hong Kong Flu pandemic of 1968. 5 people in my 6th grade class of 25 showed up one day. My school did not close, businesses did not close. In hindsight that was really stupid, but it is not evidence of being thin-skinned. This is not a value judgment, it is a matter of experience if you survived the Great Depression, fighting in World War Two, "first world problems" as we describe them today just do not seem traumatizing (Not everybody of course there was "shell shock").

"Holocaust" might have meant a big barn fire where you grew up(I never heard it used that way) but America did not forget the holocaust. The films showing bulldozers pouring naked emaciated bodies into ditches were flown to America and shown as part of newsreels prior to movies right away. They were still on TV documentaries when I was growing up. If you were Jewish it was drummed into you the similarities between the Jewish position in America and in Germany prior to the Nazis.

I agree that Vietnam was a game-changer for the reasons you cited. The number of war movies dropped a lot. The ones that remained were more realistic. But comedy was not completely absent. Most knew that M*A*S*H* the movie and TV series while set in Korea was about Vietnam. Those films were released. This begs the question was it Americans who were skittish or was it Hollywood falsely thinking Americans were skittish? I think the latter. We will never know.

I disagree that people were less honest back then. Does "All In The Family" ring a bell?

kraftiekortie wrote:
Hogans Heroes never made any great claims to any depth or morality. It was a goofy comedy. Colonel Hogan was pretty much a sleazebag, though an effective and smart one.

The intention was to entertain, and keep viewers. Television, and the media in general, usually wasn’t directly confrontational. Directly confronting issues really started, in the US, with All In The Family, with Archie Bunker.

My father was in the Army at the time of Korea. He never went to Korea….though he hated talking about his time in Army. He wanted to forget that part of his life.

This is an important point. Not everything was politicized then. People just thought it was funny(or not)


I know that youre 'not making a value judgement', but it is still nonsense.

You are simply factually wrong.

Folks were everybit a thin skinned then as they are today. BUT...they were thin skinned about different things. More offended by nudity, blasphemy, and insults to country. Less sensitive to slurs against race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Today its flipped around. THAT is the difference.

The Hong Kong flu did not kill millions. Fifty years BEFORE the Hong Kong flu schools and whole cities WERE shut down during the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1919. Comparing the Hong Kong flu to Covid is peaches to pears.Comparing to the Spanish flu to the current Covid crises is peaches to peaches.

By mentioning All in the Family you just slit your own throat and proved my point. All/Family was in the Seventies, and after the Sixties era of Hogan's Heroes. And in its first season it was considered radical precisely because it had a fresh honesty that had never been seen before in the slightly earlier era we are talking about. And the show was part of the new think- making fun of bigotry- that lead to the very excesses you complain about today. The show was part of the new wave of necessary political correctness that lead to the current excessive PC we have today. Folks always carry things too far I guess. Lol!

The point is that in the late Sixties the old kind of prudery fell away, but the new kind of 'prudery' (excessive PC) hadnt kicked in yet. Thats why in the early Seventies Mel Brookes was able to get away with making "Blazing Saddles"- a still popular film that is both chocked full sexual naughtiness that would not have been allowed even a few years earlier (but seems mild today), but also pokes fun a racial stereotypes (in a good natured way to be sure) that wouldnt be allowed today.



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03 Dec 2022, 1:05 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
I am not a knee jerk defender of wokness, but...

People were not more thick skinned then. They were actually more THIN skinned, more easily offended, and more dishonest then. Audiences are more honest about the subject in question now. Not more 'overly sensitive'. THATS the difference. For one thing Vietnam was only just then happening, and Iraq and Afghanistan were still in the future. We had a popular war to look back at, and the three nasty divisive wars weve had since were not yet in the rear view mirror. Today we have the need to look war straight in the eye in an honest way that folks back then were unwilling to do.

But there is another factor too (besides the fact that we now have more wars than just THE war in living memory).

And duhhhh... of course the popularity of HH did not 'exist in a vacuum'. My Sixties childhood was only a generation after the biggest war in human history, and everyone's dad was a veteran of it. So of course pop culture was still obsessed with the war, and of course they had tons of TV shows about it back then. How could they not have? But time and history has moved on since then. Thats why you see less WWII stuff in later decades on screen. Not because folks are 'offended' by it.

But also back then pop culture was obsessed with a mythologized and sanitized version of that war, and of war in general.

And the term 'holocaust' only meant 'a big barn fire' back then. It wasnt commonly heard as applying to the Final Solution until the Seventies. And it was in the late Seventies that audiences were shocked by a TV miniseries entitled "Holocaust" that was more nitty gritty than audiences were used to up to then.

The trend toward WWII being depicted on screen less frequently than during the Sixties, but with increasingly greater raw honesty when it iS depicted continues.

Compare "the Longest Day" to "Saving Private Ryan". The older movie still stands up, but seems hugely sanitized today largely because of the later film which has more All Quiet on the Western Front type gore among other things.

The other reason for that double think back in the Sixties (the obsession with the war, but only with seeing it through rose colored glasses) is because the audience back then was largely the generation that actually experienced the reality of the war and actively needed to forget much of that reality (and who can blame them?). The successive generations of audiences need to remember that reality. The costs as well as any glorious payoff to military adventuring.

I dont blame our fathers for wanting to forget the sights of the death camps they liberated. But posterity must see the footage. And after you do see it, or see Schindler's List, or Sophie's Choice it can make it creepy to watch a goofy sitcom about guys in a German prison camp.

Not saying that you cant enjoy HH, but I am saying that your analysis is quite simplistic to say the least.


That Hogan's Heroes did not exist in a vacuum may be obvious to people our age but most WP members don't remember those days. People in general were more "thick-skinned" then. I remember the Hong Kong Flu pandemic of 1968. 5 people in my 6th grade class of 25 showed up one day. My school did not close, businesses did not close. In hindsight that was really stupid, but it is not evidence of being thin-skinned. This is not a value judgment, it is a matter of experience if you survived the Great Depression, fighting in World War Two, "first world problems" as we describe them today just do not seem traumatizing (Not everybody of course there was "shell shock").

"Holocaust" might have meant a big barn fire where you grew up(I never heard it used that way) but America did not forget the holocaust. The films showing bulldozers pouring naked emaciated bodies into ditches were flown to America and shown as part of newsreels prior to movies right away. They were still on TV documentaries when I was growing up. If you were Jewish it was drummed into you the similarities between the Jewish position in America and in Germany prior to the Nazis.

I agree that Vietnam was a game-changer for the reasons you cited. The number of war movies dropped a lot. The ones that remained were more realistic. But comedy was not completely absent. Most knew that M*A*S*H* the movie and TV series while set in Korea was about Vietnam. Those films were released. This begs the question was it Americans who were skittish or was it Hollywood falsely thinking Americans were skittish? I think the latter. We will never know.

I disagree that people were less honest back then. Does "All In The Family" ring a bell?

kraftiekortie wrote:
Hogans Heroes never made any great claims to any depth or morality. It was a goofy comedy. Colonel Hogan was pretty much a sleazebag, though an effective and smart one.

The intention was to entertain, and keep viewers. Television, and the media in general, usually wasn’t directly confrontational. Directly confronting issues really started, in the US, with All In The Family, with Archie Bunker.

My father was in the Army at the time of Korea. He never went to Korea….though he hated talking about his time in Army. He wanted to forget that part of his life.

This is an important point. Not everything was politicized then. People just thought it was funny(or not)


I know that youre 'not making a value judgement', but it is still nonsense.

You are simply factually wrong.

Folks were everybit a thin skinned then as they are today. BUT...they were thin skinned about different things. More offended by nudity, blasphemy, and insults to country. Less sensitive to slurs against race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Today its flipped around. THAT is the difference.

The Hong Kong flu did not kill millions. Fifty years BEFORE the Hong Kong flu schools and whole cities WERE shut down during the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1919. Comparing the Hong Kong flu to Covid is peaches to pears.Comparing to the Spanish flu to the current Covid crises is peaches to peaches.

By mentioning All in the Family you just slit your own throat and proved my point. All/Family was in the Seventies, and after the Sixties era of Hogan's Heroes. And in its first season it was considered radical precisely because it had a fresh honesty that had never been seen before in the slightly earlier era we are talking about. And the show was part of the new think- making fun of bigotry- that lead to the very excesses you complain about today. The show was part of the new wave of necessary political correctness that lead to the current excessive PC we have today. Folks always carry things too far I guess. Lol!

The point is that in the late Sixties the old kind of prudery fell away, but the new kind of 'prudery' (excessive PC) hadnt kicked in yet. Thats why in the early Seventies Mel Brookes was able to get away with making "Blazing Saddles"- a still popular film that is both chocked full sexual naughtiness that would not have been allowed even a few years earlier (but seems mild today), but also pokes fun a racial stereotypes (in a good natured way to be sure) that wouldnt be allowed today.


The reaction to the 1918 flu pandemic was widely varied. It might have resembled COVID but it was deliberately tamped down due to the war effort. A better comparison to COVID would be Polio. In no pandemic did almost everything shutdown almost everywhere. And in March and April 2020 when everything shut down COVID had not yet killed millions. Arguably COVID would have killed a lot less if people today were not so afraid of taking vaccines. I did a whole reaction to different pandemics thread a while back. As far as All In The Family the intent was to poke fun of bigots but it was often not received that way. Being offended by insults to the country is in some ways bigger now. What do you think a big part of MAGA and all the stars and stripes clothing and decorations are partly about? Let’s look at Woodstock. Traffic ground to a halt, no problem, we will walk the remaining 20 miles. How well the horrible conditions were handled are well documented. An elections not going your way was handled better then.


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