Friday, 15 May 2015

TV Cop With A very Bloody Past

This not  about Columbo or Kojak or any of our favourite TV cops but a very popular European cop "Inspector Derrick"  played by German actor Horst Tappert.  He tracked his quarry by relentlessly talking to them and eventually getting a confession.  Nothing like Columbo, Morse or Poirot, such as going everywhere and talking to the various characters, and discovering clues, he simply honed in on his suspects.  Exceedingly popular across the European continent, he told his life story telling of how he was a simple stretcher bearer during WW2.  He died at the age of 85 in 2008.  But later, his reputation was severely tarnished by a chance find by a historian.  Researching a book about the German-Russian conflict, the historian found a box of untouched documents, photographs and other military paraphernalia.

     Examining the photographs, he soon recognised one of the young soldiers.  It was Horst Tappert.  The photo destroyed his claim that he was only a stretcher bearer.  He was in the uniform of the Waffen SS, one of the most notorious battalions that ever served in WW2.  This battalion was also known as the Death`s Head.  Horst Tappert was discovered to have served in the 3rd Panzer Division, one of the most brutal.  They gave partisans and Jews a fair trial - a bullet to the back of the head!  This division had an appalling reputation for rape, crucifixion and body mutilation.  Tappert was captured by the Americans and when released after the war, he did various jobs for years until he was spotted by a producer and given the role of Inspector Derrick.  It took the public by surprise and the reruns of the show were quickly pulled.  The only blood seen in the show were on his hands.