Bad Day in Berlin
Airdate: Saturday, December 07, 1968 at 9:00:00 PM
Columbia House Tape: 21051 - Spy vs. Spy
Major Han Teppel of the Abwher comes to camp for a visit. While inpecting the "chickens" in the barracks. he makes a comment that they look more like pigs. Newkirk takes offense to the Major's comment about is "filthy" uniform, telling him to drop dead. Teppel grabs Newkirk as Hogan steps in. Teppel doesn't like to be threatened by a prisoner and wants to talk to Hogan alone in his office.
After a little smalltalk, Teppel produces half of an 8 of spades, along with the code phrase "A cloud passes over the sun". Hogan, looking confused, produces his half, along with the reply "Casting shadows on the earth below". It turns out that Teppel is really Robert J Morrison from Milwaukee! Hogan is shocked at an American intelligence agent in a German itelligence agency uniform (even though he and his men do it all the time), stating "Your life insurance premiums must be murder"! They make arrangements to talk later, as Klink has invited Teppel to stay for dinner.
Klink puts on his usual show at dinner. After Teppel compliments the dinner, Klink responds with "I always say that there's no sense acting as if there is a war on just because there is a war on". As he tells Teppel next "At the risk of sounding immodest, I do drop a few gems once and a while." (If Klink's not playing his violin, you'll probably find him blowing his own horn!)
Meanwhile, Hogan makes his way across the compound to Klink's quarters. At 7:30, Kinch calls Klink's office, waking the ever alert Schultz. Posing a General Clements, he gets Schultz to bring Klink to his office for the phone call. Klink protests, but relents after being told that it is important top secret business - but not before getting his digs in at those who "wear extra braid". This leaves Teppel alone to talk to Hogan.
Hogan and Teppel talk, giving Hogan some background on Teppel. It seems he's been in the German army for 10 years after being ordered to join the German-American Bund back in America. He was then ordered to give up his American citizenship in order for the Germans to take him. As Hogan comments, "Ordered to become a traitor."
Teppel then tells Hogan the real reason he is here. Robin Hood, one of the control agents in Allied headquarters, is a German spy and has returned to Germany. Robin Hood, whose real name is Decker, is a deep agent planted many years ago, like Teppel. Decker knows a lot - at least half the network of Europe, including names, dates, places and codes.
Hogan is nervous - very nervous. He's worried that "if the Gestapo wants us, all they have to do is shake the tree and we fall out ... dead." But Teppel has a plan to get to Decker first. London wants him back - alive - to learn who his contacts are in England and then try him for espionage. Hogan is, shall we say, a bit reluctant. "Three hundred, maybe four hundred people could be executed and they want to play information please"?
Teppel repeats that these are London's orders. They know that Decker is in the Hotel Berlin, waiting for Gestapo General Schellenberg to return from the eastern front. Hogan is still reluctant. "Well good luck. With Decker on the loose, I'm going to make out my will!" Teppel is persuasive, reminding Hogan that he's had experience with this kind of job, and that Decker has never seen him and he's not known in Berlin.
Teppels plan is to take Hogan and his men to Berlin for questioning by the Abwher, taking Klink along. (Klink must be present since a Luftwaffe officer must be present at the interrogations.) Hogan reluctantly agrees, and they plan to leave in the morning.
The next day they travel to Berlin to begin the interrogations. LeBeau is first, and is shown a copy of a letter he received from a lady in Paris recently. When asked about the phrase "Hope to see you soon", he responds that it's code for "Hitler's mother wears army shoes". When LeBeau refuses to answer a question from Klink, Teppel gets tough and demands that LeBeau answers. When LeBeau reposnds to Klink with a string of French phrases, Teppel can barely keep a straight face. They take LeBeau back to his cell after realizing that nobody else in the room spoke French! (We can guess by Teppel's reaction that he understood LeBeau!)
Teppel suggests to Klink that they should split their resources to save time. Teppel will take Hogan, Carter and Newkirk to SS headquarters for more intensive interrogation and Klink will remain and question LeBeau and Kinch. Klink initially wants to visit a dear friend in SS headquarters, but after being told by Teppel that his friend is in trouble with the Fuhrer at the moment, he denies even liking his "dear" friend!
Back in Hogan's cell, Teppel fills him in on the plan. They would head to the hotel the next day while Klink remains behind. When Hogan comments on Teppel's "selling job", he responds that Klink is "an egomaniac ... and a creep". As Hogan says, "And you hardly even know him!" (It just goes to show that first impressions of Klink are usually right on the money!)
The next day Teppel takes Hogan, Carter and Newkirk away in an ambulance. Once away from the headquarters, Teppel fills everyone in on the plan. Once at the hotel, they will pass as a medical unit. They will put Decker to sleep and then Carter and Newkirk will carry him away on a stretcher. Then they'll take him back to the Stalag 13 truck and back to camp and off to London. Teppel then shows them his magic ring, which has a tiny needle that, when he shakes Decker's hand, will administer a drug that will put him to sleep for 12 hours. Hogan's response? "Morrison do me a favor. If we ever meet on the street, don't shake my hand, just nod!"
They enter the hotel and head for Decker's room. Decker is not familiar with Teppel, and is hesitant to talk to him about the British communication system. Teppel understands and wishes him a good day - shaking his hand. Decker goes down for the count, and Carter and Newkirk take him away to the ambulance. Hogan and Teppel search Decker's papers. He has maps, battle plans, agent lists - the works.
Teppel then fills Hogan in on his backup plan - two snipers parked outside the hotel with orders to shoot whoever leaves with Decker's briefcase. Before they can leave the room, Captain Metzger shows up with orders to take Decker down to the lobby to meed Colonel Braun, who will escort him to General Schellenberg. Hogan, masquerading as Decker now, agrees to meet them in the lobby after getting dressed. He's now again in a near state of panic - either Colonel Braun might know Decker and recognize him as a fraud, or the snipers will take care of him as he leaves the hotel. "I'm up the creek. I don't have a boat. I don't have a paddle. I don't even have a creek!" Teppel assures him that he will call off the snipers before he gets to the lobby and has to leave the hotel with the briefcase.
Down in the lobby, Colonel Braun detains Teppel, not letting him leave the hotel. Hogan, as Decker, comes to the lobby. Colonel Braun asks Decker if they've met before, to which Hogan replies "You tell me". When Braun responds "No I think not". Hogan seems relieved and responds "Good" and then quickly adds "It's always good meeting new friends" to the puzzled stare of Colonel Braun. When Hogan finds out that Teppel has not been allowed to leave the hotel, he tries everything he can to get back to his room ... to no avail. As they begin to walk out, Hogan tells Teppel goodbye. Teppel adds "for the last time", to which Hogan replies "Oh I hope not!"
As they walk out, Hogan puts down the briefcase to light a cigarette, and then proceeds out the door without the briefcase. Colonel Braun picks up the suitcase, realizing that Decker forgot it. As he gets outside, the snipers fire and hit Braun. In the confusion that follows, the Gestapo men head off one way while Teppel "gets a doctor". Hogan picks up the briefcase and he and Teppel get in the ambulance and take off.
Back at headquarters, they load Decker into the Stalag 13 truck for the ride back to camp. Teppel wishes Hogan and his men good luck and begins to shake Hogan's hand. They stop short because, as Hogan puts it "I never sleep in the middle of the day".
Back in camp, Kinch confirms the sub will rendezvous at the normal place to take Decker back to England. Decker is a bit insolent, but Hogan lets him know that his two escorts will have orders to shoot to kill if he tries anything. (After all, Newkirk wrote the orders himself!)
Klink wants to see Hogan about the interrogations. After reading all of the nice things that Hogan had to say in the phony transcripts sent by Teppel, Klink is annoyed that it seems Hogan is trying to undermine his career by portaying his as a humane Kommandant. "Look, I know you're a rat and you know you're a rat. But I thought it was our secret!"