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Hogan's Heroes is a sitcom that aired on CBS and told the story of an international group of Allied prisoners in a German POW camp during World War II. The show portrayed the German military and SS officers as bumbling fools and the prisoners, led by the American Colonel Hogan, as clever agents of chaos who could escape at any time, and frequently did.
The show had elements of wish-fulfillment and satire, but was controversial with many people who saw it as trivializing the horrors of WWII, Nazi atrocities, and the experiences of both military prisoners and concentration camp victims. The revelation, long after the series went off the air, that most of the German characters were played by Jewish actors, and that many of them lost family members to the holocaust and, like Robert Clary (LeBeau), experienced concentration camps and internment camps personally came as a surprise to many people.
It was unusual at the time for its treatment of Sergeant Kinchloe, an African-American staff sergeant who was explicitly Colonel Hogan's second in command and purposely written so the narrative would make no sense if he was edited out (as was often the case at the time for television actors of colour) for Southern broadcast. Also somewhat rare was having actors whose nationalities matched the characters: Robert Clary (LeBeau) was French, Richard Dawson (Newkirk) was English (though not Cockney), and the main Luftwaffe personnel (Kommandant Klink, Sergeant Schultz and General Burkhalter - Werner Klemperer, John Banner, and Leon Askin) were played by Jewish Germans or Austrians who had escaped Nazi Germany and served in the US army or air forces during World War 2.
For a list of related fandoms, see List of Military Fandoms.
Hogan's Heroes is a small but active fandom, which features a handful of fannish works spread over the print/Web infrastructure.
- Hogan's Heroes Fanfiction.net archive, the main story archive
- Hogan's Heroes works on Archive Of Our Own
- Webstalag 13 "library", listing stories by authors, titles, and dates.
Since 2003, the fandom organises an annual event called the Papa Bear Awards (after Hogan's team's code name on the radio). It's an election of what is considered the "best" stories of the past year, with two rounds: nominations (among all the stories completed during the past year) and voting. The categories are divided into Drama, Comedy, General (with "long", "short" and sometimes "medium" sub-categories), Snapshot (less than 1000 words), Based on an Episode, Based on a Challenge, portrayal of characters (canon, extra, original), etc. It's become quite a popular event, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2013.
- Explanations and list of winners from 2003 to 2007 on the site WebStalag 13
- Main site for the PBAs since the 2008 edition
- New site hosting the PBAs from 2018 onwards (plus the previous PBA results)