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Wiener Library

Rauff, Walter (1906-1984)


Reference code(s): GB 1556 WL 619

Held at: Wiener Library

Title: Rauff, Walter (1906-1984)

Date(s): 1938-1983

Level of description: Collection level (fonds)

Extent: 3 files

Name of creator(s): Ware | John | fl 1983 | film maker


Administrative/Biographical history:

Walter Rauff was a professional naval officer until 1937 when he began working for the Nazi Sicherheitsdienst (security service) in which service he became head of the technical affairs section of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Reich Security main office). In this capacity, during 1941 and 1942 he supervised the outfitting and despatch of some 20 gas vans in which at least 200,000 people were murdered. Rauff left Berlin to lead an SD Einsatzkommando in Tunis in late 1942. He became district SS und Polizeiführer (SS and police leader) for Northern Italy in September 1943. After the war, having escaped from a prisoner of war camp he eventually settled in Chile where he managed to evade extradition and died in 1984.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers relating to Walter Rauff, 1938-1983, including contemporary biographical and autobiographical accounts of both Rauff and his second wife, Edith Knacke; copies of correspondence between Gaubschat (the company contracted to design and manufacture the gas vans) and Rauff; copies of transcripts of personal statements and declarations of Rauff regarding his involvement in Nazi atrocities, (generated during the course of legal proceedings against Rauff and his former colleagues).


Language/scripts of material: German, French, Spanish and English

System of arrangement:

Chronological by subject matter and material type.

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies can be made for personal use. Permission must be sought for publication.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

Description exists to this archive on the Wiener Library's online catalogue



Archival history:

The papers in this collection are part of the material used by John Ware for his documentary 'Colonel Rauff's Refuge', Granada, World in Action, broadcast on 8 Aug 1983, 8.30 pm GMT.

Immediate source of acquisition:

John Ware


Related material:

Publication note:


Archivist's note: Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: November 2007

Concentration camps | War crimes | Humanitarian law
Holocaust | Genocide | War crimes | Humanitarian law
Television programmes | Television | Broadcasting
Third Reich | Nazism | Totalitarianism | Political doctrines

Personal names
Rauff | Walter | 1906-1984 | SS officer | Colonel
Ware | John | fl 1983 | film maker

Corporate names

Chile | South America