Great manhunt in Germany: Yves Rausch, a German survivalist, is still free

He has been convicted before, loves weapons and has lived in the woods for some time. Gradually more is known about the ‘Wald-Rambo’. He is said to have written a manifesto calling on him to embrace nature.

The manhunt for Yves Rausch started on Sunday. Then a man in camouflage clothing was reported near a log cabin.

When the police arrived there, the 31-year-old sat at the table and made a relaxed impression. But when the officers asked him to leave the cabin because they wanted to search the room, he took action. Rausch pulled a gun and pointed it at one of the four officers. He forced them to put their weapons on the ground and fled into the forest. Since then he has outsmarted hundreds of men.

Investigation services assume he is still in the forest. “He feels safe there,” said the police chief yesterday. “The forest is just his living room.” Due to the rough terrain, the investigation is difficult.

The police search day and night with hundreds of special commandos, dogs and police helicopters in the Black Forest near Oppenau. Thermal cameras and loudspeakers hang from the helicopters. Agents are calling on the man to surrender.

“That shows how desperate the investigation services are,” says correspondent Judith van de Hulsbeek. “They are not confident that they will find him in that area just like that. It is very large and difficult to pass.”

Rausch grew up in Oppenau. In the village they see him as an eccentric, but fairly harmless figure. He often walked through the village dressed in a black robe, with a rat on his shoulder. “People know him there. He did notice, but he talked to many people and came across as an innocent boy,” says Van de Hulsbeek. “That is why a part of the population is not afraid of him. Although he is also known as a madman.” His escape would include a bow and arrow, knife, pistol and the officers’ loaded service weapons.

Because of his arsenal, camouflage clothing and love for the forest, he quickly got the nickname ‘Wald-Rambo’ in German media. The name refers to the American action film First Blood from 1982. Sylvester Stallone plays a Vietnam veteran who comes into conflict with the police. He escapes and hides in the woods, after which a manhunt begins.

“There are of course similarities, but it is a bit exaggerated, because we do not know how dangerous he is”, says Judith van de Hulsbeek. “Rausch has been violent before, but it was a long time ago.”

In 2010, he shot a friend through the shoulder with a crossbow. She was seriously injured, but he did get help for her. He received juvenile detention for 3.5 years. He later received a suspended sentence for prohibited possession of weapons.

Today it became known what may await him after disarming the officers: five to fifteen years in prison. It also seems that he has written a kind of manifesto. However, according to a police spokesman, it is not certain that the text comes from Rausch. German media report that the text was found in a local restaurant.

Mark T. Hofmann, a profiler, analyzed the text in Bild. He sees many similarities with the ‘Unabomber’, the infamous bomb letter writer who carried out several major attacks in the United States between 1978 and 1995.

“Rausch, like the Unabomber, sues social conditions. Technology would enslave man. Humanity would be missing from it, etc. Rausch’s theorems will not cause him any problems,” says Hofmann about the two A4 pages. . “But the manifesto differs from the Unabomber on one essential point: there are no threats in it.” The police also do not think that Rausch’s actions are politically motivated.

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