Frerking, Bernhard Fredrik.

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Frerking, Bernhard Fredrik, born on 01-12-1912 in Hanover as the son of Bernhard and Marie Frerking. Frerking and his wife Marie Luise had three children together.

On 01-03-1933, age 20, he became a member of the National Socialist German Labor Party (NSDAP) in the Gau Südhannover-Braunschweig. His membership number was 2313093.

Between 1933 and 1935, Frerking went to Dortmund to study at the University for Teacher Training. He had been a member of the local Sturmabteilung (SA) since 1934 (and perhaps even earlier). Frerking completed his studies as an Organist and Teacher for the Musikunterricht an Volksschulen. He then worked as a teacher and organist in Latferde near Grohnde/Hameln-Pyrmont. From June 1936 he was also part-time choir conductor of a singing society. On 01-08-1936 he married Marlies Marckmann. They had three children (1937, 1939 and 1944). In the same month he was called up for military service in the field artillery in Fallingbostel. During the war, Frerking was deployed with artillery regiment 216 from 1940, first on the western front and between 1942-1943 on the eastern front. Frerking was last deployed as a Oberleutnant with of the 352nd Infanterie-Division under command of Generalleutnant Dieter Kraiss   and fire control officer at the Atlantic Wall in Widerstandsnest 62.Frerking was the superior of Heinrich “Hein”, “The Beast of Omaha”.

Severloh, who became known as the ‘Beast of Omaha’. As a machine gunner for Widerstandsnest 62,

Severloh killed hundreds of American soldiers landing on Omaha Beach during Operation Overlord. Severloh was convinced that Frerking saved his life with the command “You jump next!”, when the position could no longer be held.

On 6th June 1944 – commonly referred to as D-Day – when the Allies landed in Normandy, First Lieutenant Frerking was stationed at the German strong point WN62 near Omaha Beach as the gunnery control officer. This was one of sixteen defensive positions in a bay that was six kilometres wide. Difficult currents hampered the landings of the US troops. In front of WN62, the units were caught by a barrage of machine gun fire for nine hours. Robert Sales  from B Company of the US 29th Infantry Division “Blue and Gray”  and motto “Twenty-nine, let’s go!” & the 116th Infantry Regiment   nickname, Stonewall Brigade and Motto “Ever Forward”,  landed on the coast at 06:45 with the second wave of troops that attacked. Sales later recalled: “When the ramp went down, our officer was hit immediately. Everyone who jumped out was immediately mowed down. Our landing craft lay directly in the crossfire. We were literally cut to pieces. If you moved, you were dead. I survived by pure chance. Every landing craft that came in was taken under fire. I was the only survivor of my boat.” “Hein, it’s starting!” The voice of his lieutenant, Bernhard Frerking, woke Private Severloh from his slumbers in a small French farmhouse a few kilometers inland from the coast. Everyone from the 352nd Infantry Division had been expecting something to happen for weeks and knew how to respond. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel had always said that when the inevitable invasion occurred, the enemy had to be repulsed within 24 hours or the war would be lost. At this moment, however, Rommel was on the other side of Normandy celebrating his wife’s birthday, and the Führer was enjoying a night’s sleep that nobody dared to disturb.

Severloh’s fingers itch and he wants nothing more than to pull the trigger on his MG42, a machine gun that can fire 1,200 rounds per minute and that the Germans call Hitler’s buzz saw.’My God. Those poor wretches,’ mutters Bernhard Frerking, Severloh’s commander, when he sees the enemy reach the 400-meter mark.Not much later, the same command is given in all bunkers and positions along the coast of Omaha Beach:’LOOSE! Open fire! The enemy must be destroyed.”

Another German young defender was a soldier of the 726th Infantry Regiment and MG gunner in Widerstandnest 62, on Omaha Beach on D-Day Frans Gockel

 He killed hundreds of Americans of the Company D of the 116th Infantry Regiment on the beach.

By 1 p.m., the Americans had landed more than 19,000 soldiers and bulldozers were clearing the way for the tanks.But as the enemy slowly takes over the eastern part of Omaha, Gockel is still waiting in his small bunker just a mile away. The young German’s machine gun has been destroyed by a grenade, so all he has left is his carbine. Suddenly he notices a sharp pain in the hand holding his gun.He looks at what is there and sees that two of his fingers are only attached to his hand by some tendons, and that blood is flowing out.’Now, that’s luck! With such a wound you can certainly go back home,’ says a comrade after Gockel has run to the company bunker. As soon as the wound on his hand has been treated, the soldier can indeed leave the front. He avoids the large, unpaved country road for fear of encountering Americans, and walks quietly along back roads and paths until he comes across an ambulance.

Death and burial ground of Frerking, Bernhard Fredrik.


Frerking himself was killed, age 31, by a shot to the head while trying to withdraw from the Widerstandsnest. He was initially buried in the cemetery of St. Laurent-sur-Mer. Later he was transferred to the La Cambe war cemetery, Block 7, Row 3, Grave 89. His mother asked the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V. several times in the 1950s for a grant to visit her son’s grave. This finally happened when she proved that her son had been a local group leader of the Volksbund. Frerking last saw his family when on leave in December 1943. His youngest daughter was born three months after he had died. On 06-12-1948 the German casualty records service informed Marie Luise Frerking that her husband had been buried in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer. Frerking’s remains were exhumed and reburied at the German war cemetery in La Cambe.

The German military cemetery in La Cambe is a cemetery with German war dead from the Second World War and is located in the French village of La Cambe (Calvados department). It is located 1.5 km west of the village center, close to the N13 motorway. The cemetery has an almost square floor plan with an area of approximately 8.5 hectares. In the center of the cemetery is a hill on which a basalt cross is adorned, flanked by two figures and the text: “Gott hat das letzte Wort” (God has the last word). Around this hill, the graves are divided into 49 rectangular beds, sometimes containing up to 400 graves, characterized by flat tiles in the grass between which are groups of 5 basalt crosses at regular intervals.This cemetery contains the graves of German soldiers who died during the fighting that took place after the landing of the Allied troops in Normandy. After the cemetery was completed in September 1961, more than seven hundred German soldiers were buried who were found at other locations. A total of 21,160 soldiers are now buried, of which 207 could no longer be identified.

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