Brian Harmon answers:
I am one of the volunteers who answers questions for the Holocaust History Project.
Walter Rauff was a Lieutenant Colonel (Obersturmbannfuhrer) in the SS. Rauff was a member of the RSHA (or 'head office for reich security') and was instrumental in the use of 'Gassing Vans' as an alternative means to murder jews instead of mass shootings.
According to testimony by Ohlendorf and letters between Rauff and other officers, Rauff was involved both in the use of gas vans by the Einsatzkommando killings and the later use in the Mauthausen extermination camp.
The testimony of Otto Ohlendorf is presented in the International Military Tribunal "Blue Series", vol 4, starting on page 311:
The discussion of Rauff begins on p 323:
We also have a copy of a letter by Rauff concerning the use of gas vans at Mauthausen:
and another letter to Rauff describing how 97,000 had been 'processed':
I hope this answers your question.
- Brian Harmon
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Last modified: May 16, 2000