A German man searches for the soldier who took care of him during WWII.

An african american man kneeling next to a small caucasian child.

Alexander, an American soldier, with Siegfried

An elderly caucasian man with grey hair wearing a purple suit.

Siegfried Laier

CASE DETAILS

Several people are standing around a military truck as supplies are distributed during WWII.

Americans gave supplies to German civilians

For decades, Siegfried Laier of Moerlenbach, Germany, has been searching for an American soldier. More than half a century ago—when Siegfried was just a boy—he formed a friendship with the young GI.

It was March of 1945 … The final days of World War II. For Germany’s civilians, it was a time of uncertainty and despair. One of the innocent victims was young Siegfried Laier, whose neighborhood was destroyed by allied bombers. Siegfried’s mother fled with her three youngest children. The Laiers walked 125 miles to be with relatives in the village of Moerlenbach. It was a tough time for Siegfried and his family:

“It was very bad. I was four when the war ended. There was very little food to be had. We had to go with meal vouchers and buy food, but there wasn’t much around.”

When American troops rolled into Moerlenbach, the German citizens were afraid that the conquering army was out for revenge. But instead, they found friendly soldiers who provided them with food and medical supplies. According to Siegfried, one of the GIs was a young man named Alexander:

“He was sympathetic to me and friendly. If it hadn’t been for him, perhaps I would not be alive today. He was a guardian angel for me.”

An african american man driving around a small caucasian child in a jeep during WWII.

Alexander drove Siegfried in the jeep

The “guardian angel” took it upon himself to track Siegfried down. Alexander took a genuine interest in the Laier family, and before long, the food shortages were a dim memory. Alexander made daily visits and over the next three months, virtually became a member of the Laier family. According to Siegfried, their friendship transcended race, nationality, and even language:

“What he would say to me, I don’t know. I don’t believe that he knew German and I certainly didn’t know any English. It was just hands and feet and somehow it just felt alright. Somehow we did communicate, because you don’t necessarily need words for communication. You can do things with signs and it went alright.”

Often times, Alexander would invite Siegfried to tag along on routine patrols around town:

“When I was sitting in the car and the other children saw me, they were perhaps a bit jealous because I was allowed to drive and they couldn’t. I was very proud.”

A small caucasian boy is watching as soldiers drives away in a jeep.

Siegfried hasn’t seen Alexander since 1945

Inevitably, the time came to say goodbye and Siegfried was left heartbroken:

“I was sad. Perhaps I would never see him again. As I think about it today, I was really sad. I have always thought about how he helped us and that I should’ve helped other people. He was not obliged to us in any way. But he did it as a human being, out of human love.”

Today, Siegfried has only one memento of Alexander—a photograph taken in the spring of 1945. At the time, Alexander was about 20 years old. Siegfried does not know Alexander’s last name, but does recall that his unit marched into Moerlenbach, Germany, on March 27, 1945. Siegfried is hopeful that he and his guardian angel will one day be reunited.


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season seven with Robert Stack and in season six with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

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63 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Conrad

    About two months ago, my father and I spent about 3 1/2hrs researching this topic one night and I concluded that Alexander Bell seems like a very viable identity for the man. Alexander Anderson had deceased sometime in 1944 and the only other likely possibility appears to be a Sergeant by the name of Alexander Bell. “Alexander” and his Army unit had marched into Moerlenbach on March 27th, 1945, where 4-year old Siegfried Laier and him first encountered one another. I came across an excerpt from a “Patton’s Panthers: The 761st Tank Battalion” that states that on March 30th, 1945, Sergeant Alexander Bell had successfully shot down a Luftwaffe plane over his command post in Langenselbold. Being that Moerlenbach and Langenselbold are only around 55 miles apart and that the timeline seems suitable, I am inclined to believe that Alexander Bell is the soldied in question. However, unfortunately I can’t seem to unravel anything more pertaining to his life, either pre or post-war—and since he shares a name with a key historical figure, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack to even find any connections. I hope this helps much, I would love for this to be solved.

    Reply

  2. Avatar

    Madeleine

    Unsolved Mysteries: Did you see the October 2016 comment from James Smith? He seems to have solved the mystery. His father knew Alexander Whitfield.

    Reply

  3. Avatar

    Jordan

    I hate to say it, but I think at this point Alexander has passed away by now.

    Reply

  4. Avatar

    J

    Could it be possible that his last name was Alexander? It’s not uncommon for military people to refer to themselves and each other by last names, and chances are his last name was on his jacket, and even a German speaker would be able to read and recognize the name “Alexander”.

    Reply

  5. Avatar

    Noble Crisp

    I looked into Carla Haase’s tip about two Alexanders, and found a reference to an Alexander Anderson in a book entitled Patton’s Panthers: The African-American 761st Tank Battalion In World War II. I don’t quite know the historical accuracy of this book, and it is indeed written as a novel rather than a historical treatise; however it appears to be written by a fairly reputable journalist and war veteran, so I am leaning towards it being more accurate than not. This book features an excerpt where Anderson is described as having died. He is also described as being a driver, which would fit with the stories of Sebastian being brought along on I am attempting to look further into this and will update when I get further information. I hope to God that this is not the Alexander in question and that he did not in fact die, but I don’t know what to believe.

    Reply

  6. Avatar

    Julia Hai

    Has this case been solved . I just watched the story today. It’s very heart touching… I hope he’s found his little human guardian angel . Please have a happy ending ❤️

    Reply

  7. Avatar

    Paul

    Correct if I am wrong so Alexander was 20 at the time he would be 93 today if he was still living. Alexander I hope you are still around and hope they can get reunited

    Reply

  8. Avatar

    Janet

    Has anyone looked into the above tip? The one from that Carla Haas? Her tip seemed legit. I would love to see a ending to this story. And I miss this show, if they would bring unsolved back it would make my year.

    Reply

  9. Avatar

    Julie Turner

    Any updates at all? Just seen this episode and would love to know.

    Reply

  10. Avatar

    Carla Haase

    @Jen if you can check for Alexander Bell and Alexander Anderson. I found those names listed for the 761st tank battalion in a militay archive. Good luck, maybe there is just a mix up with the name.

    Reply

  11. Avatar

    Kelly Ryan

    A true act of charity should remain anonymous. I thank god for people like him he didn’t let all the hate for black folks bring him down. We should all try and be like him

    Reply

  12. Avatar

    Donna

    Watched the program today. My heart goes out to Siegfried.
    I hope a family member will recognize and contact unsolved mysteries.
    God bless you.
    Donna

    Reply

  13. Avatar

    Anonymous

    Unsolved mysteries, please tell me this man has found that amazing guardian angel. If not at lest a family member. I would love to see a happy endin to this story. It touched my heart.

    Reply

    • Avatar

      unsolved

      Hi Crystal – unfortunately this story is still unsolved.

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Laura

      me, too… just saw the episode today and was compelled to check online to see if it had been updated. so sad to see the response that it hadn’t. such a great humanitarian story. it touched my heart too, crystal…❤

      Reply

      • Avatar

        Michele

        Laura and Crystal this story was such a nice story I wish we could have gotten a final resolve to it. Our soldiers in all the wars so cared especially to the kids. God bless them and Alexander and all those children that suffer from the wars in their home lands! Wish they could have at least found a family member too for this man.

        Reply

  14. Avatar

    Anonymous

    Unsolved Mysteries, @grrarrggh had a great idea. Have you been able to contact the National Archives to verify if Jamente is Alexander’s last name?

    Reply

  15. Avatar

    Viper85

    I saw this story when I was about six or seven. Still haven’t solved this. Hmmmm.

    Reply

  16. Avatar

    Chanita

    Oh My God That’s So Amazing Don’t Give Up Unsolved Mysteries All Of U Can Do It Have Faith In God And He Will Answer You’re Prayers God Bless You!

    Reply

  17. Avatar

    jerrold

    It is very possible that the man described above was my father! His name was Alexander, and he fought around that time!!

    Reply

  18. Avatar

    Blue bird

    This Is So Analyzing I Wish Someone Would Care About Me That Much!

    Reply

  19. Avatar

    Blue bird

    Do U Know What ? I Have A Freind His Name Is John Bolt And He Is A Sweet Young Man I Love Him As Much As I Love God whoever Is Looking At This Please Pray For Him Because He Needs All of The Help He Can Get! Love U JB! Take Of Your Self Love Blue Bird!

    Reply

  20. Avatar

    any updaes?

    Any updates to this story?

    Reply

  21. Avatar

    Brother Malcolm

    Hopefully this is solved after comment^^^
    Above…as a vet, this made my day before going to my appointment @ the VA..

    Reply

  22. Avatar

    James Smith

    Alexander Whitfield was his name. This was My Dad’s Friend back in the Army and they were assigned to handing out food to German Families after the fall of Nazi Germany. When you showed that picture on TV, that was Whitfield for sure. He stole Soup from the Army Mess Hall to take it to this family because he had taken a liking to little Zeigfreid’s Mother. He would find these house Frau and feed them up after knocking them up so they would think that they just got fat instead of knocked up. He died in 1991 of Cancer. But he was hosing your Mom, little Ziggy.

    Reply

  23. Avatar

    Tiffany Boyd

    I’m hoping Alexander’s family can get involved in this case, because this story is amazing. To this day Alexander is 91 years, if he’s not deceased I hope soon that this case can be solved and updated.

    Reply

  24. Avatar

    Matthew

    William D Alexander

    Reply

  25. Avatar

    Joe Kulik

    Although Alexander sounds like a “good man”, & although it’s quite understandable why Siegfried would want to see him again, I truly doubt that Alexander was acting solely from compassion for the German people. It seems likely to me that Alexander, as well as the other soldiers in Germany in 1945, were under orders, formal or informal, to befriend German citizens. What better way to placate a defeated country that your military is now occupying than by “bribing” them with “kindness”, which would include food. After fighting Germans for 4 years, I doubt that MOST American soldiers in Europe in 1945 had very much “love” for any German people. … [email protected]

    Reply

    • Avatar

      jill barbour

      I dont believe that. A large percentage of the American soldiers fighting in WW2 had personal relationships with Jesus Christ and obeyed His command to love your fellow man. The soldiers may have been ordered to act in certain ways, however i believe they followed their orders with goodwill in their hearts- a large percentage of them, while simutaniously going about what they were commanded to do.

      Reply

    • Avatar

      Grimm

      Clearly you have never spent time with any WWII vets that fought in Europe. Many of our vets befriended the ‘enemy’ for the simple fact they had no differences to exploit in to hatred they way they did with the Japanese in WWII and later the Vietcong. My father in law is Asian and fought for the US during the war in the Pacific. Even his own brothers in arms hated him for the simple fact he was different looking- too much like the enemy.

      Also a large part of the German forces were born and raised US boys. They went to Germany at the behest of their immigrant parents to fight for the ‘Fatherland’ before 1941and the US got involved in the war. Not uncommon at all.

      Many of our G.I.s in Europe brought home wives from the war. Both of my uncles fought in Europe during WWII and came home with German wives at the end of the war. Both later divorced their brides after trying to make their marriages work. One remarried a German born woman who came to the states in the 50s on her own. If my father hadn’t already been married and stationed in Hawaii during the war I’m sure he also would have brought home a bride from Europe.

      Reply

  26. Avatar

    Gail

    My advice to you is to seek out information from a records keeper.. likely Mr. Alexander was part of the Buffalo Soldiers at that time as seen on his jacket in the video he must have been trained in Kansas at the training fort for these brave men. If you can find the records of the Buffalo Soldiers from Kansas you are likely to find Mr. Alexander. Happy hunting I hope you find him. Angels come in all shapes and forms. Best wishes. Ciao

    Reply

  27. Avatar

    Jen

    I looked on the National Archives site and there’s no info on Alexander Jamente. If any one can suggest another name or any more details, I’m happy to research it. Although, I am guessing Mr. Laier may be deceased and likely the unknown Alexander as well.

    Reply

  28. Avatar

    Amanda

    David Ramsey is the actor portraying Alexander is the re-enactment, that footage is not the real Alexander.

    Reply

  29. Avatar

    Tawnya Goss

    you need to look into David Ramsey’s past family no two people look that much a like I’m going by the pic that siegfried’s has of the man. It is worth looking into. It can’t hurt to try.

    Reply

  30. Avatar

    Tawnya Goss

    I believe no two people can look so much alike without being related some how. I was watching your show. There is a actor named David Ramsey he plays on the arrow. I know this is not Alex but he has to be related some how they almost look like brothers or father and son, or grandfather. If I were you I would look into it.

    Reply

  31. Avatar

    grrarrggh

    Have you considered searching National Archive records? You could find the company by the dates and location. See if there’s an Alexander on the list or if anyone involved remembers a man like the one in this story.

    Reply

  32. Avatar

    paulynn

    I hope they do find each other.

    Reply

  33. Avatar

    Mat

    The Unsolved Mysteries Wikipedia page claims this story was solved. Why does it say that? Do we have any more info?

    http://unsolvedmysteries.wikia.com/wiki/Alexander

    Reply

    • Avatar

      unsolved

      Hi Mat – we are not connected to that wiki site, so we are unsure of what information they are referring to. We have not received any information that this case has been solved.

      Reply

  34. Avatar

    GT

    So I looked up Siegfried’s Laier phone number on a German website since u posted u lost contact and it came up with a incomplete address of 69509 morlenbach and a phone number of 0049 620 93057 don’t forget to use country code 49 after 011 to dial out. Hope it works since it looks like u have a full name for Alexander.

    Reply

  35. Avatar

    Me

    Any updates?

    Reply

  36. Avatar

    Michele Davis

    I’m so grateful that Alexander found this man when he was a small boy and showed him a better way…he very well may have saved him and his family from starvation of the body by providing food for his belly and soul. It filled his heart and it refilled mine. I can only believe that everyone touched by Alexander was enriched by his loving nature and huge heart and…this is one instance among many where Americans helped people overseas recover from war…my father fought in WWII too and his stories, while not as involved, established that American servicemen shared meager rations, and chocolate and love freely to people…I’m sure that other allied soldiers did the same. Thank you for this story and Peace to You in all you do…

    Reply

  37. Avatar

    Me

    I’ve just been touched with this story. I feel like I wished I can help.

    Reply

  38. Avatar

    Anynomos

    I know his last name he was in my great grandfathers unit they were best friends his true name is Alexander jamente he has no record of birth

    Reply

    • Avatar

      unsolved

      Thank you for your tip. Unfortunately we have been unable to locate Siegfried at this time to pass along the information.

      Reply

    • Avatar

      jeff

      Is he still alive?

      Reply

    • Avatar

      daggeroftheoss

      Hey Jamente is usually a first name. Are you sure his name wasn’t Jamente Alexander?
      Someone should be able to look up that name through national archives and narrow it down to one of Patton’s 3rd Army divisions. The 761st was an all black famous tank battalion who would have been near that area towards the end of the war.

      Reply

    • Avatar

      tc

      Would of been helpful to say what your GG’s unit was if you can find out specifically?
      I think there’s been confusion with his name too. I suspect his last name was probably Alexander. It’s more military and formal to address someone that way. Like Corporal Smith etc rather than something like Larry lol Jamente is a first name doing a quick Google search.
      Either way it was a big war and there were thousands of soldiers in that area coming and going at the end. One indisputable fact is that he was black, so that limits the job he had in whatever mystery unit he was in. Black soldiers not in a designated all black unit like the 761st tank battalion would have been in administrative/support roles. Another fact is that he had to be part of Patton’s 3rd Army as they were the occupying force in that area late March 1945. If he was in Morlenbach for three months he was likely just waiting for orders to go home when the war ended. If he had arrived late in the war he would have to wait due to low points. For instance black soldiers in the 761st tank battalion arrived in Europe several months after D-Day so they had to wait for soldiers with more time accrued to get shipped home.
      He drove a jeep in the story so perhaps a courier or supply clerk? He could have even been an officer in one of the all black units like the 761st too. Someone with experience in researching military archives should be able to solve this. 🙂

      Reply

  39. Avatar

    Kyleigh

    The story was great. I loved it.
    Awesome. 🙂

    Reply

  40. Avatar

    Hi

    Hope they find him but if hes still alive, he will be at a very old age.

    Reply

  41. Avatar

    beautiful

    This story is beautiful!

    :’)
    Sending love Alexander wherever he is.

    Reply

  42. Avatar

    All at local churches

    Woww! We wish you are in Christ alone. I’m bro. In The Lord Tom Chou want reunite with our sister in The Lord Tang Zhen Qian in Christ alone.

    Reply

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