Reports: 'Derrick' actor an SS member during war

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 27, 2013 at 11:22 am •  Published: April 27, 2013

BERLIN (AP) — Reports that the late German actor Horst Tappert, best known for his longtime role as dapper TV sleuth Stefan Derrick, served in a feared Nazi SS unit prompted at least one European broadcaster to announce Saturday that it would drop the show's reruns from its schedule.

Dutch TV station MAX pulled reruns of the show, which was produced from 1974 to 1998, after daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published documents Friday showing the actor had been in the SS during World War II.

"Derrick" was one of the most widely syndicated German TV shows, broadcast in over 100 countries including China, Australia, France and Norway.

"We are not going to honor an actor like this who has lied about his past," Dutch public broadcaster NOS quoted MAX chairman Jan Slagter as saying.

Tappert had spoken of his wartime service as a medic in an interview 10 years before his death in 2008. But he didn't mention that his unit was part of the elite SS Armored Infantry Regiment 1, nicknamed the "Skulls" after the emblem they wore.

The SS is known to have committed atrocities during World War II but it was unclear from the newly discovered documents whether Tappert was directly involved.

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