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Herbert Maeger was born at Hergenrath/Eupen in Belgium on 10 November 1922. After release from Soviet captivity in late 1945 he settled in West Germany in the Rheydt area and began pre-clinical training. He obtained German citizenship on 21 June 1971. He was unable to return to Belgium for decades after the war, having been sentenced to life imprisonment in his absence by a military tribunal at Verviers on 19 February 1947 ‘for having borne arms against Belgium's allies in particular as a member of the Waffen-SS.