Derrick in the SS

Anyone who grew up in Germany or the Netherlands, would have seen at least one episode of the German Police drama Derrick, set in Munich. The show ran between 1974 and 1998. It is well-rumoured that even Pope John Paul II was a fan.

Yesterday, I started watching a TV show called Faking Hitler. It is about Konrad Kujau, the man who forged the Hitler diaries. The show mentioned that Horst Tappert had been in the Waffen SS. Horst Tappert was the actor who played the aforementioned character Derrick, as seen in the above picture.

This came as a surprise to me. In April 2013, information emerged he had served as a member of the notorious Waffen-SS during World War II and had hidden the fact for years. Reruns of Derrick were suspended in Germany and some other countries as a result. He had never personally disclosed his connection with the SS. At age 19, he was, according to his widow against his will, transferred from the Army to the Waffen-SS. Initially a member of a reserve anti-aircraft unit in Arolsen, he was listed as a grenadier with the 3rd SS Division Totenkopf in March 1943. In 1945, he was briefly a prisoner of war in Seehausen, Altmark. Warsaw Ghetto Uprising from 19 April to 16 May 1943 was the training Battalion of the 3rd Panzer Division Totenkopf that took part in the suppression of the uprising. Given the fact that was soon after Tappert had joined the division, there is a great likelihood he would have been involved.

Horst Tappert wasn’t the only one with a connection to Derrick that had an SS past. The main author of the Derrick stories, Herbert Reinecker, joined the Hitler Youth movement in 1932 at the age of 17. From April 1935 onward, Reinecker worked full-time as a propagandist for the Nazi youth movement.

In 1936, Reinecker moved to Berlin where he became the editor-in-chief of the youth magazine, Jungvolk. In the same year, he also co-authored a book, Jugend in Waffen (Armed Youth). This was a time when the Nazis had already been in power for three years and when the media had long been gleichgeschaltet (the process of Nazification by which Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party successively established a system of totalitarian control). In 1943, he joined the Nazi Party and worked as the editor-in-chief of a magazine, Der Pimpf (The Pimp) about the training system of the Hitler Youth. Throughout World War II, Reinecker served in the propaganda company of the Waffen SS.

I was wondering why there weren’t any reruns of the show. I moved to Ireland in 1997, it’s why I missed out on the media reports in Germany and the Netherlands about the Derrick scandal.

Horst Tappert died in 2008, and Herbert Reinecker on 27 January 2007, ironically the date of the International Holocaust remembrance.


The 1943 German law that denies justice to be done.


In 1943 a law was passed in Germany which gave all foreign Waffen SS members the German nationality by default.

This law still prevents extradition of WWII War criminals to be extradited to their native countries, because these men have the German nationality , and Germany does not extradite it’s own citizens.

These are just 2 examples of Dutch war criminals who received no or very little punishment for the crimes they committed during WWII.

Herbertus Bikker AKA The Butcher of Ommen


Herbertus Bikker was a Dutch war criminal. He was a member of the Waffen-SS. He served as a guard at the concentration  Erika near Ommen, in the Netherlands. His brutal treatment of the prisoners earned him his nickname ‘the Butcher of Ommen’

Bikker is the alleged murderer of Dutch resistance fighter Jan Houtman [nl] who was killed, twenty-seven years old, on 17 November 1944.

Following the end of World War II, he was sentenced to death by a Dutch court.  he managed to escape from prison in Breda on 26 December 1952 and fled to Germany, crossing the border at Ubbergen near Cleves. He settledd down in the city of Hagen, where he livedundetected until 1995. Following the law from 1943, foreign members of the Waffen-SS automatically received German nationality. Germany does not extradite its own nationals.

Although he was not extradited he was taken to court in Germany, . Bikker’s managed  to evade any jail time  to claim diminished responsibility due to illness.Following a breakdown and fainting in court,  neurologists advised against Bikker standing trial tHE Court was adjourned on 2 February 2004.

Bikker lived in Hagen as a pensioner until his death on 1 November 2008  which was only announced in 2009.

Siert Bruns AKA the Beast of Appingedam.


Siert Bruins was a a member of the Dutch Nazi party NSB. During the war he and his brother both joined the Waffen SS and fought at the eastern front.

Siert got wounded  at the front and  returned to the Netherlands where he  became a member of the SD. He was active around Delfzijl hunting members of the resistance.

He was sentenced to death in absentia by a Dutch court in 1949 for the murder of Dutch farmer and resistance member Aldert Klaas Dijkema. The German government refused to extradite him to the Netherlands. The death sentence was later revised to a life sentence.

In 1978, Bruins was tracked  down by Simon Wiesenthal in the German town Altenbreckerfeld. He was arrested and put on trial in Germany, in 1980, where he was found guilty for the murder of two Jewish brothers, Meijer en Lazarus Sleutelberg.He spent 5 years in jail for those murders.

In 2003, the Dutch minister Donner tried to convince the German authorities to send Bruins to the Netherlands, but without success

He went on trial again, in the western city of Hagen in September 2013 for the murder of Aldert Klaas Dijkema, in September 1944 in Appingedam near the German-Dutch border.However, the case was dropped when judges said there was insufficient evidence to proceed, partly because there were no witnesses left alive.

Bruins died on September 28,2015 aged 94.


These were only 2 examples but there are still dozens of so called German citizens who are walking around as free men.


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Dutch Wikipedia

Trial International