Tuesday, April 09, 2013


When Robert Clary (best known for his role on Hogan's Heroes) joined the cast of Days of Our Lives in 1972, he was basically Doug's happy-go-lucky friend, whose main function was to sing... and be French.  (He also married Rebecca, Doug's housekeeper, who was a surrogate mother for Doug, but then Doug changed his mind and Rebecca died and Robert ended up raising Dougie like any good soap parent - by stashing him away in boarding school.)

When Robert returned to the show in 1986, he was primarily there to prop up his niece, Robin, who was dating Mike Horton over the objections of her Jewish father.  (Robin is the mother of Mike's son, Jeremy, though Mike initially didn't know of his existence after Robin moved to Israel.  Because Jews on soaps don't get to move to Ohio or London or even the ever popular Hong Kong.  It's got to be Israel.)

It was at this point that we learned Robert was Jewish and a concentration camp survivor, to boot.  When he recognized another doctor at the hospital as a former Nazi, it was up to Patch - who, until then, had been an unrepentant thug terrorizing the Salem populace, running drugs for Savannah, and torturing Hope by tying her to a chair with (what he said) was a bucket of acid suspended over her head - to decree that Nazis Are Bad (there's a controversial stance) and begin his match towards redemption by helping to unmask the villain.

About the only thing that saved the rather silly storyline for me was the knowledge that the Jewish Clary himself had been interned in a concentration camp during the war, and that he lost most of his family there. (Read more about it here.)

Yesterday was Yom HaShoa, Holocaust Remembrance Day.  In the spirit of "Never Again," please watch the below scene from Days of Lives, with Clary, as Robert, heart-breaking in his remembering....

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