Rauff, Walter (1906-1984)

Scope and Content

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).

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.


Chronological by subject matter and material type.

Conditions Governing Access


Acquisition Information

John Ware

Other Finding Aids

Description exists to this archive on the Wiener Library's online catalogue www.wienerlibrary.co.uk

Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Custodial 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.

Corporate Names

Geographical Names