Major Heinrich Strasser is the main antagonist of the 1942 Warner Bros. film Casablanca.
He is the leader of a Nazi troop who's very civil to the people around him. However, Strasser trakcs down the POW Victor Laszlo and his wife Isla Lund to Casablanca so he can arrest the former and send him back to a concentration camp, employing Casablanca's authorities to recapture Laszlo.
He was portrayed by the late Conrad Veidt.
Despite being a Nazi, Major Heinrich Strasser's surprising pretty civil to the French citizens. When he first arrived at Morocco, he willingly assisted in the investigation of the murdered German couriers and pressured the French Police to do their duty.
He's also sort of a considerate and noble boss even though he's still very strict, but he's never been seen yelling at any of his soliders or killing them when they failed.
However, his warm surface of humanity still doesn't hide his true murderous self. It's been implied that he had slaughtered people in cold blood. And he still wants to make sure the other people know that his Nazi troop is under control as he and his troop took over Rick's cafe singing the Nazi anthem. "Die Wacht am Rhein", and sends Renault to close the club when Laszlo interfers and brought people hope as the idea could lead to a inspiration to rise up in rebellion.
He's also a clever schemer and very manipulative. He's aware of how clever Victor Lazslo, but he also knows how he's capable of making the wrong move. He refused to give Victor a visa but he offered them another option that would allow the two of them to leave for Lisbon the next day - Victor would have to do betray the names of the rest of his Underground Resistance leaders throughout Europe and claimed he would get Laszlo his visa. Another scene his Strasser threatening Ilsa when Victor wasn't around with his murder unless he returned to occupied France "under safe conduct" from himself.
- (Renault: Unoccupied France welcomes you to Casablanca.) Thank you, Captain. It's very good to be here... (Renault:You may find the climate of Casablanca a trifle warm, Major.) Oh, we Germans must get used to all climates, from Russia to the Sahara. But perhaps you were not referring to the weather.
(Renault: What else, my DEAR Major?)
- "Are you one of those people who cannot imagine the Germans in their beloved Paris?"
- "Richard Blaine, American, age 37, cannot return to his country - the reason is a little vague."
- "I admit he's very clever. Three times he slipped through our fingers. In Paris, he continued his activities. We intend not to let it happen again."
- "You give him credit for too much cleverness. My impression was that he's just another blundering American.
Renault: But we mustn't underestimate American blundering. (Innocently) I was with them when they 'blundered' into Berlin in 1918." (coughs).
- " You may be in Casablanca indefinitely…or you may leave for Lisbon tomorrow, on one condition."
- "My dear Mademoiselle, perhaps you have already observed that in Casablanca, human life is cheap. Good night, Mademoiselle."
- In real life, Conrad Veidt left Germany in 1933 after the Nazis came to power. Ironically, he was cast as Major Heinrich Strasser in Casablanca despite this, and it turned out to be one of his most famous roles.