Nazi Secret: Report Reveals 'Derrick' Actor Was SS Member
The German television show "Derrick" was one of the most successful crime show exports in the country's history, with broadcasters in 102 countries running it in syndication over the years. It emerged on Friday that the actor who played the enormously popular television detective, Horst Tappert, had a secret. He served as a member of the SS during World War II.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on Friday that Tappert was a member of an SS anti-aircraft group (SS-Flakabteilung), in Arolsen, Germany, that was under the command of the notorious Waffen-SS.
Sociologist Jörg Becker uncovered a document showing Tappert had been a member of the SS while conducting research at the German agency WASt -- which maintains records of members of the former Wehrmacht, the German military under the Nazis -- for a memoir he is writing about another person. Becker told the newspaper the document shows that Tappert became a member of the Waffen-SS as a low-level grenadier by March 1943 at the latest, at the age of 19.