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Melvin Rackleff collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 04.0094

Scope and Contents

This collection is composed of the personal possessions of Capt. Melvin M. Rackleff, as they relate to the Second World War and subsequent postwar occupation of Germany as a U.S. Army doctor. Included in this collection are letters written to his wife, Hazel Rackleff, during and immediately following the war. Other ephemera from Rackleff's time overseas is included. Additionally, several books, many from his time during the occupation of Germany, are included. Four maps from the immediate post-war period show the division of Germany and town layouts. One box contains several photograph albums that originally belonged to a German family.


  • Created: 1912-2005
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1944-1946
  • Other: Date acquired: 11/12/1999


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

Melvin Rackleff was born on December 3, 1898, in rural Oregon. After serving during World War I, he became a small-town doctor in Clayton, Illinois. In 1943, he was drafted back into military service and was stationed in several hospitals throughout England, where he worked as an army doctor for much of the remainder of the war. Rackleff worked largely with German prisoners of war. Arthritis caused Rackleff to be sent back to the United States on medical leave. Following this, he was stationed in Camp Gordon Johnston, Florida until he was sent to Germany. After the war, Rackleff served as part of the occupational force in Germany. Originally, he was stationed in Heidelberg, though he moved to a smaller camp shortly after, where his wife and two sons joined him. From the items in this collection, one can see that the family traveled throughout the Allied zones regularly during their time in Germany. Ronald Rackleff, Melvin's oldest son, completed his high school education in the American Occupational Force schools, and the younger son, Robert Rackleff, also attended. Later on, he served during the Korean War, eventually retiring from the Army and taking a job as a VA physician. He passed away on February 10, 1994, and is buried in Bay Pines National Cemetery, Bay Pines, FL.


5.00 boxes

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Transferred from the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience to FSU Libraries Special Collections & Archives in July 2022.

Source of Acquisition

Robert B. Rackleff

Method of Acquisition

Materials were donated to the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience by Robert B. Rackleff, son of Melvin M. Rackleff. Donations were made on November 12, 1999; March 15, 2004; April 10, 2012; and March 23, 2018.

Melvin Rackleff collection
Kristina Hopf
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US