Robert Clary (1926-2022)

The Washington Post:

Robert Clary, a French-born survivor of Nazi concentration camps during World War II who played a feisty prisoner of war in the improbable 1960s sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes,” died Nov. 16 [, 2022] at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 96.


Mr. Clary was the last surviving original star of the sitcom that included Bob Crane, Richard Dawson, Larry Hovis and Ivan Dixon as the prisoners. Werner Klemperer and John Banner, who played their captors, were European Jews who fled Nazi persecution before the war.

Mr. Clary remained publicly silent about his own wartime experience until 1980 when, Mr. Clary said, he was provoked to speak out by those who denied or diminished the orchestrated effort by Nazi Germany to exterminate Jews. Twelve of his immediate family members — his parents and 10 siblings — were killed under the Nazis . . .

Clary was liberated from Buchenwald on April 11, 1945. Clary was the only family member to survive.

Hogan’s Heroes ran for 168 episodes (six seasons) from 1965-1971, on the CBS network. It was the longest broadcast run for an American television series inspired by WWII.

Although the show was completely unrealistic, I loved it. It made me laugh then and does so now.

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