Europe 1 with AFP 07:07, December 08, 2021

Five lifeless bodies were found last Saturday in a town in southern Berlin.

In a farewell letter, the father explained that he had made a false vaccination certificate for his wife and would have killed his family for fear of seeing his children taken from him if he was unmasked.

A father killed his wife and three children before committing suicide because he feared being imprisoned after having falsified an anti-Covid health pass, according to the content of a farewell letter revealed Tuesday by the justice German.

The Cottbus public prosecutor's office, in charge of this case, could not however explain at this stage why the man had arrived at such a gesture for a similar reason, nor specified if he was known or not to have suffered from psychological problems.

The five lifeless bodies had been found last Saturday in a locality in the south of Berlin, Königs Wusterhausen, and the mystery hovered since on the origin of the tragedy.

In his farewell letter, the 40-year-old father says he had a fake vaccination certificate made for his wife.

Fatal gunshot wounds

Only the woman's employer "noticed it and wanted to investigate," said a spokesperson for the Cottbus prosecutor's office, Gernot Bantleon.

"The father expected him and his wife to be taken into custody and the children to be taken away from them," he added.

Investigators assume that the 40-year-old father killed his three children, aged four, eight and ten, and his wife, 40, before committing suicide.

It was neighbors who alerted the emergency services after seeing lifeless bodies in the house. 

The autopsy of the bodies continues but investigators have so far only discovered fatal gunshot wounds, said the prosecution.

German authorities have repeatedly expressed concern about the proliferation and trafficking around fake COVID-19 vaccination certificates in the country, particularly affected by the new wave of the pandemic.