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Hanns Albin Rauter was born in Austria and fought in the Austro-Hungarian Army in World War I. After the war, he became involved in Austrian nationalist activity. He joined the Nazi Party and was recruited to SS chief Heinrich Himmler’s personal staff. When Germany invaded the Netherlands in 1940, Himmler named Rauter Higher SS- and Police-leader (HSSPF, Höherer SS- und Polizeiführer) in the Netherlands and General Commissioner of Security (Generalkommissar für das Sicherheitswesen) in the country. Although subordinate to Reich Commissioner of the Netherlands Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Rauter reported directly to Himmler.
Rauter was key in the deportation of more than 100,000 Dutch Jews to extermination camps. He signed all the directives regarding Jews and other opponents of the regime. Rauther was the embodiment of Nazi terror in the Netherlands and the very mention of his name sparked fear. In March 1944, he was injured in an ambush executed by the Dutch resistance. He was tried in the Netherlands in 1948 and executed in March 1949.

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