Nazi Spy in South America

Veronica Maciel

Do Nazis still exist today? This particular one existed until 1984. He participated in World War II and created a mobile gas chamber known as the “Gas Van,” as a Jewish newspaper called it. His name was Walter (Walther in German) Rauff; he was a high ranking Nazi officer. Rauff fled, as an Allied prisoner of war camp, to West Germany after the war and was responsible for approximately 90,000 murders in Germany. While he was in West Germany he was recruited into BND.

BND is an acronym for the German words Bundes Nachrichten Dienst, which translates into “Federal Intelligence Service.” This organization was established while Hitler was dictator of Germany, however, when the Allies beat Germany in the war, the United States allowed the organization to remain open and collect information about the Soviet Union, also known as Russia.

The head of BND headquarters, Bodo Hechelhammer, had this to say about Rauff, “In hindsight, the recruitment of Walther Rauff is politically and morally incomprehensible,” as Natalia Drozdiak quoted in Reuters. In other words, he does not understand the motivation behind hiring Walter Rauff.

Rauff was paid by BND more than 70,000 Deutsche marks (about $18,000) for a mission he was assigned in Cuba. His mission was to spy on Fidel Castro, the then current dictator of Cuba. This involved changing his name to Enrico Gomez. However, he never completed this mission because he was denied entry into Cuba. He remained in Chile afterwards, until 1960.

That year, he went back to Germany for BND training. He went back again in February of 1962, at which point he found out there was a warrant out for his arrest. Before Rauff had gone back, another former Nazi officer, Adolf Eichmann, was tried; Rauff’s name was mentioned in the trial.

Walter Rauff had evaded the authority in Germany yet again. Once he was back in South America, Chile more exactly, the police there arrested him for his crimes in Germany. They were going to send him back to Germany to be tried for his crimes, however, because of a 15 year statute in Chile, Rauff only stayed in prison for a few months before being released from custody. He then died in 1984, never facing justice for his crimes against society.