Melvin Rackleff collection
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
- Rackleff, Melvin (Person)
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.
Language of Materials
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.
- American Red Cross
- Camp Gordon Johnston (Fla.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Germany (Territory under Allied occupation, 1945-1955 : U.S. Zone). Office of Military Government
- Germany--History Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Occupation, military Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Personal correspondence Subject Source: Local sources
- United States--Armed Forces--Medical personnel
- World War, 1939-1945--England Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- World War, 1939-1945--Germany Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- World War, 1939-1945--Maps Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- World War, 1939-1945--Photography Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Yearbooks Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Melvin Rackleff collection
- Kristina Hopf
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note