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Major von Hapen
Major von Hapen, or Captain von Brauschitz as he is called in the novel, is the perfect "cop". He is everywhere where you don't want him. He is a charming character, but underneath the charm hides a suspective wolf. He is very intelligent and impossible to fool.

Name: von Hapen
Rank: Major
Nationality: German
Actor: Derren Nesbitt
Role description:Important role
First appearance: 00:28: (On the courtyard)

Major von Hapen studied in Düsseldorf 1929-1933.

Derren Nesbit is great as the slimey Major von Hapen. We don't know much about him as an actor in general, but have heard that his appearance in Where Eagles Dare is as "slimey" as many of his other movie appearances.

Favourite Scene
[In the Golden Hall.]
Major John Smith: All right gentlemen...
Major von Hapen: Stay where you are! I advise you to keep perfectly still. Drop your gun Major.
[Smith drops his gun.]
Major von Hapen: You too, Lieutenant!
[Schaffer drops his automatic.]
Major von Hapen: By the fireplace!
[Schaffer places himself by the fireplace.]
Colonel Paul Kramer: Thank God you're here Major. We were just about to...
Major von Hapen: Sit down, Colonel! Everybody remain as he is untill I find out what exactly is going on here.
Colonel Paul Kramer: What do you mean? I'm sure you can see what's going on...
Major von Hapen: SIT! Down. Colonel.
Major John Smith: It's perfectly simple, Major. The Lieutenant here and myself have just uncovered a complot to assassinate the fŸhrer.
[Rosemeyer gets up.]
Reichmarshal Julius Rosemeyer: This is preposterous!!
Major von Hapen: Sit down!

Favourite Line
[von Hapen steps forward to Heidi and Mary.]
Heidi Schmidt: May I introduce you to a friend of mine. Major von Hapen. My cousin Maria Schenk.
Major von Hapen: Your cousin told us to expect you frŠulein Schenk, but Heidi! You did not tell me she was as beautiful as this.
[von Hapen kisses Mary's hand.]

User Comments:

Matt Crowther (2002-11-05)
Von Hapen is your classic SS officer slightly sterotyped but is a ladies man (possibly) and a devout Nazi. He does not like being left in the dark, not all SS officers did.
James (2003-10-09)
von Hapen is my favorite character, portrayed to perfection by the distinguised looking Derrin Nesbitt. He carries off the look, style and arrogance of a top brass SS officer very well and is flawless in all his mannerisms and inflections. He's most definitely a ladie's man and knows it. The refusal of his advances by the lady spy made in obvious to him that he was being played for a fool, which he most certainly was not. Too bad his character had to be killed off before giving him some more action scenes. His appearance is crisp and perfect, not one flaw.
Dobbo (2003-11-07)
Hasn't Major Von Harpen got the most amusing bottom lip in the world?
Pete Baker (2003-12-31)
Like all the Germans in this film he is too easily out-witted by the film's stars. It's stupid that he refuses to listen to the attempted explanations of two Germans, telling them to shut up, but then is prepared to listen to Smith, letting Smith impose himself on the situation.
Pete Baker (2003-12-31)
Like all the Germans in this film he is too easily out-witted by the film's stars. It's stupid that he refuses to listen to the attempted explanations of two Germans, telling them to shut up, but then is prepared to listen to Smith, letting Smith impose himself on the situation.
Dirk (2004-01-11)
Derrin Nesbitt's protrayal of Major Von Hapen is what kept bringing me back to this film. He' carries off the SS Nazi Gestapo evil, arrogan persona to perfection. The character is brilliant and not easily fooled, well-educated and debonaire. Mr. Nesbitt displays all facets of this fascinating and evil character and makes him so realistic. The wardrobe department does this man justic in this film as well.
Ben (2004-01-12)
Does anyone have a transcript of the wonderful scene with Von Hapen and Mary Ure in the bar when they are talking about Dusseldorf. 'It's funny, I seem to remember the Cathedral was on the other side of the square...' If anyone has it please email to me at Much appreciated.
Castaway (2004-07-17)
Hello, By coincidiénce, von Hapen appears as the potential number 1 in the Prisoner episode 11! C
Dannyboy (2004-10-19)
Actually, the wardrobe department did not do him justice. Like many WWII movies, he was incorrectly dressed in the black SS uniform. In reality, this uniform was only used by the SS before the start of the war and was replaced by the standard field-grey uniforms.
Arnold Harper (2004-12-08)
Hello Von Hapen fans! I saw where Eagles dare so many times and I surely agree that Major Von Hapen is the greatest character. His impressive look makes him a real nazi-officer and I think its not an easy task to perfom so well as he did. I have this movie on DVD now and I watch it once and a while, I just can't get enough of it and especially not the scene's with Major Van Hapen. A lott of my friends have seen this movie because I said they had to see it and they all agree that it's one of the finest WWII movies ever made.
Brian Jones (2004-12-10)
I hereby nominate Major Von Hapen head of ASBO enforcement for UK.He would get the job done effortlessly.Superb character!!
Kull (2005-01-03)
It's not 'incorrect' to have an SS donning the black uniform in 1943.
It all depends on his position.
If he was fulfilling police/security functions at the castle then it's RIGHT to have him dressed in black.
Allgemeine (=General purpouse) SS dressed black to the vary last.
The dude before incorrectly said the black uniforms were 'replaced' by the feldgrau ones.
Not true...fledgrau was adopted for the militarized SS acting as combat troops but never replace the ordinary black worn by SS men at home or serving as occupation police in conquered countries (they were common sight even in Italy, ask my grandma...).
Even Waffen-SS did wear black uniforms at galas too...but they used white belts and leather cords for those special occasions.
Sure the carachter in the movies sports lots of military decorations:
golden close combat clasp
silver issue wound badge
general assault bafge
german cross in gold

and lots of ribbons but he could have earned on the frontlines with the waffen-SS before being posted at the SchloB as security officer.

alan giles (2005-02-14)
forget all the nonsence about ss black and grey uniform"s the whole acting performance gave it the o shit what now hide, when ever it was his turn to say something that made you thank god its not me stood in front of him....
tom (2005-03-13)
~this character was played perfectly, an d thankfully one charater the movie couldn't do without!
The early exchanges where Col.Charma baits him a little is very charmas' office when this "cop" is snooping around...on e could sens e he wanted revenge in the worst way too...he is at his glory in the castle where Rosemeyer, charma, the 3 "real" german agents an d Eastwood and "major Schimdt" were finishing up business.....until "Lt. Schaeffer" cuts his career short....this scene had many classic reactions by all of was just an almost perfect movie....99 9/10% of course...
varroco (2005-08-29)
The majors hair colour cannot be natural, it seems to me he has overdone the sun-in or lemon juice when he was on holiday
The Evil Guys are allways the coolest!!!
Klaus (2006-01-27)
Sturmbannführer von Hapen is a central character of the movie no doubt. But the way his make-up was done gives him a gay-touch. His hair is too blonde and in the sequence after the helicopter landed his face looks really painted with rouge on his cheeks, eye-liner and so on as if he resembled a doll. Why was that done? It is a pity as it spoils his otherwise excellent performance. I wonder why the military-advisor did not complain.
Viggen (2006-01-29)
Hi's accent when he tells Maria where he Studied ROCKS!
Gary Powell (2006-05-11)
All the previous comments are totally wrong about the black/grey uniform issue. Because quite simply they've all (including referred to him as being in the SS. When actually if you watch the film you'll realise he is introduced in the courtyard scene by Anton Diffring as Major Von Hapen - GESTAPO. Hence the correct black uniform and why he is snooping around the castle as per his German Secret Police role! I can't wait to meet Derren Nesbitt at the Autographica event in June 06' as he is a big hero of mine. A very underrated and underused English character actor.
Doggo (2006-05-26)
Again all above comments regarding the uniform are wrong. The Black SS Uniform was abolished in 1939, for the duration of wartime! Some Allgemeine-SS in Germany continued to wear them, but ALL SS Branches (Waffen-SS, SD/Gestapo etc.) usually had the fieldgrey Uniform during wartime!
SD and Gestapo usually wore the black Uniform until 1939, and during wartime the grey uniform while in OFFICE-DUTY and Service in Occupied Countries (because some in Civilian clothes were shot by the Wehrmacht thinking they were partisans...). When they were in service outside their offices they wore Civilian clothes (often the infamous leather coat). Major von Hapens Uniform in the film should have been grey, open-collar, with plain black SD-collar tab and SD raute on the sleeve with silver piping indicating he has Gestapo affiliation.
Bill Newman (2006-06-08)
My wife and I had the pleasure of cleaning for Derren Nesbitt for the past three years and believe me you could not meet a nicer more down to earth chap - prolific writer as well.

Currently rewriting the bible!!! or as good as.
Tattersall (2006-11-23)
I remberber being taken to the opening of the film WED when I was ten for my birthday and Major von Hapen was the coolest and still is
Peter Reay (2006-12-01)
Whatever uniform he should have been wearing, I think we can all agree that Darren Nesbitt's portrayal as Major von Hapen is one of the highlights of this brilliant film. Personally, my favourite von Hapen scene is when he begins to doubt that Heidi's cousin had ever been to Dusseldorff, when he says: "I alvays sought zat ze church voz on ze uzzer side of ze skvare." And you're thinking: Oh fuck, she's done for now. Turns your bowels to water. Superb acting.
Ran Morgan (2008-03-06)
My absolute hero! He's a complete legend. Many of my friends think I look like Major von Hapen, but I reckon he's much better looking. I often quote some of the chat up lines he used on Mary, when I'm sharking chicks. It never fails. He was one smooth operator!
Hades (2008-03-31)
He's the best Nazi in the film, would love to own the uniform he wears, always liked SS uniforms. Shame his career was spoilt after he beat his wife up for cheating on him.
James (2008-04-07)
I'm so glad that so many others share my sentiments (above 10-9-03) of both Darren Nesbitt and his excellent portrayal of the movie's BEST character, Major Von Hapen. Yes, they did overdo his Nordic blonde hair, blue eyes and fair skin with too much rouge, but he carried it off to perfection. Whether historically correct or not, that decorated SS uniform ensemble is stunning.
Mat (2008-04-18)
I'm going to the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon next week just to see Von Hapen in 'What Next Jeeves'. I am going to clear up the cathedral in Dusseldorf point, ask him if he has time for a schnapps after the show and when we are together in the bar ask him to 'Sit down'. I can't wait....
Danny Boy (2008-05-30)
Looking forward to seeing Derren in "Come on Jeeves" in Windsor this weekend (31/5/08). The Derren Nesbitt site is worth a visit if you haven't already. Von Hapen is still my favourite character in the film and I am sure the Airfix 1/72 scale plastic German Officer figure is based on Derren's famous pose with the arm outstretched luger as he enters the dining room in his final fateful scene. (he was injured by the "squib" effect on the forehead! according to his website).
Austria (2008-09-18)
The SS-Von Happen looks like the Austrian-Nazi Rainer Wolfenstein. This time was very horrible. after world war 2 germans and austrians hate each other, but today we lived in peace. hilter was an austrian!!! and the NSDAP cames from Bayria who is independet and since 1876 German!
ken everett (10/06/2009) (2009-10-07)
this actor is a dead ringer for minnesota twins baseball manager ron gardenhire==ken everett
youngamerican (2009-11-23)
Character is epic and all other celluloid Nazis come up short in comparison except Brando in Young Lions
derren nesbit (2010-03-21)
does anyone else notice that this (british) actor has the worst put on accent in the world? strraange, I zeem to remembwer, zat ze cathedral, vos on ze other zide of ze square?
Steve P (2010-07-28)
A classic portrayal. Surely there is no better way for an actor to go down in history other than as a defining character type.....Clint Eastwood as a tough cop, Marlon Brando as a rebellious young man, Charlie Chaplin as a comedian, Derren Nesbit as a charismatic SS bastard.
Mark Watson (2010-07-28)
He had the quality of Shibumi, a Japanese term. Expert artists were often said to do things beautifully without making them excessive or gaudy. Sometimes baseball players are said to be shibui when they contribute to the success of the team without doing anything themselves to stand out individually. The performance was just that, flawless with just enough wrong (accent + uniform) to avoid the brittleness of perfection. A perfect example of a (very scary) type I hope we never see in real life.
david lacey (2012-03-26)
he was the classic actor as it should beto make you believe that he is the character portrayed not one that appears wooden
steven(1.7.2012 (2012-07-01)
i liked the character so much i had a copy of his uniform made up complete with all the medals,
S.J. police major (inspector)  (2013-03-29)
Kull identified the decorations: golden Naehekampfspange - close combat clasp in gold, I think was given to only 86 soldiers (50 days in close fight) silver issue wound badge general assault bafge german cross in gold (deutsches Kreutz), so called Ruehreier- scrambled eggs, higher rank decoration than 1st class Cross of Iron and of course he had a Cross of Iron.So, he must have served in combat SS units before starting his carrier as a gestapo/counter intelligence officer
S.J. police major (inspector) (2013-03-29)
starting his career as a gestapo/counter intelligence officer, of course. I was in a hurry, being on my duty :)
kobi le cornu age 12 (2013-07-16)
i like the way smith is played by richard burton, he seems to keep calm and when shafer shoots major von hapen he says smiths name, how does smith know to get down? all in all its the best war film ever, love the explosions as any kid would and i just love storyline and the actors are just brilliant! well done!!!! kobi le cornu age 12 written in july 2013
Chris (2013-10-03)
I was lucky enough to meet Derren Nesbit in or around 1983 when he was selling cavity wall insulation in my home town of Hessle, East Yorkshire. What a waste of a superb British actor. He had me captivated as a young boy telling me about his time on WED. I remember he told me that when Eastwood shot him, he spun his Lugar pistol and said "shit, I thought I was in a western". What a charming man. And if you read this Derren, I hope you are well.
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