Monday, July 29, 2013

Mr Rogers may have been a Nazi

+Ian C

"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood..." of Düsseldorf, Germany, where in 1919 Friedrich Rüger was born to German farmers, Ernst and Hilda Rüger. According to school records, Friedrich was an outstanding student who enjoyed music and also showed great compassion and empathy for his fellow students. Upon completing his basic education, Friedrich enrolled in the Berlin School of Music to study composition. Before he graduated, war broke out in Europe and Friedrich joined the German army to fight against the allies.

Friedrich Ruger March 1940
A photo of Friedrich Rüger from March 1940
Friedrich Rüger was reported as "missing in action" at the completion of the Second World War and in 1946 was given a ceremonial burial with full military honors. Meanwhile in Winter Park, Florida a quiet young musician called Fred Rogers suddenly appeared at Rollins College. He studied there for four years and finally earned a B.A. in Music Composition in 1951.

In 1968, 5 years after being ordained as a Presbyterian minister, Mr Rogers debuted his Television series 'Mr Rogers' Neighborhood', a show aimed at children where he, as the title character, addressed his young viewers as peers and equals. 

Mr Rogers and a hand puppet
Mr Rogers and one of his 'neighbors'
When asked about his unique approach to children's TV he said, "Kinder schauen zu uns, aber wir haben nicht zu sprechen zu ihnen hinunter" which basically means 'Kids look up to us so don't talk down to them'. Nobody ever questioned why he answered in German. Nobody ever questioned Mr Rogers after the bad-ass sniper rumors came about in the early 90's.

Urban legends suggest that Mr Rogers may have been a bad-ass marine sniper with 25+ confirmed kills, but this is unlikely because of his role as either a minister or TV host during key wartime periods. The rumors may have originated from drunken talk of his German army career where records show that Friedrich Rüger was fairly useful with a rifle and had trained as a sniper during the closing years of the Second World War. It is unclear whether or not Rüger actually saw action as a sniper during the war.

Mr Rogers in his dressing room before the show
A rare glimpse of Mr Rogers in his dressing room
Mr Rogers has been incredibly careful to cover his dubious past with the persona he had built up since 1968. It would seem however, that the character of Mr Rogers is not so different to that of the sharing, caring schoolboy who was once Friedrich Rüger of Düsseldorf all those years ago, even if he was shooting bullets at the wrong side during World War 2.





5 comments :

Helena Fortissima said...

LOL...it coulda happened!

EricaB said...

Kicked right in the childhood...

nothingprofound said...

Anybody who smiles that way must be hiding some dark secret.

Anonymous said...

This is a bunch of garbage and lies. Fred Rogers was much too young to have served in WW2and he was born in the USA.

Unknown said...

It is true. He shoved a big sausage down my throat when i was a wi lad i can never forget the words he screamed in fluent Dusseldorf german , ' SUCK MY STRUDDEL ' i have never recovered mentaly and to this day will not change clothes in the middle of the day

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