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"The altar has been prepared in accordance with your radio instructions, sir."

Mohler was a Nazi military officer and Hauptmann who was stationed at the isle of Geheimhaven in the Aegean Sea in 1936. Mohler was in charge of the base at the time of the arrival of the U-boat Wurrfler, under the command of Colonel Herman Dietrich, French archaeologist René Emile Belloq and Gestapo agent Major Arnold Ernst Toht, which was carrying the Ark of the Covenant which had recently been found at the Tanis digsite outside Cairo, Egypt by American archaeologist Indiana Jones and his associates and then stolen from him by the Nazis. After the party arrived at the base, Mohler helped to arrange the ceremony in which the Ark was to be opened, but was not present for the event.


Early life[]

A civil engineer by trade who wanted to serve Germany, his country, Mohler[2] joined the Wehrmacht where he achieved the rank of captain. He oversaw the construction of Geheimhaven, a secret Nazi island base in the Aegean Sea near Crete, and was installed as commander of the site due to his unquestioning willingness to strictly follow orders.[3]

The Ark of the Covenant[]

Mohler speaking to Belloq

Mohler informing Belloq of the Ark's preparation.

In 1936, after the Ark of the Covenant was unearthed from the Well of the Souls at a German digsite at Tanis outside Cairo, Egypt by American archaeologist Indiana Jones and his associate, the Arab excavator Sallah Mohammed Faisel el-Kahir, it was apprehended by the Nazis led by Colonel Herman Dietrich, French archaeologist René Emile Belloq and Gestapo agent Major Arnold Ernst Toht aboard the U-boat Wurrfler and stolen from the pirate freighter known as the Bantu Wind, captained by Simon Katanga, in the Aegean Sea.[1]

Afterwards, Hauptmann Mohler was contacted via radio by Belloq who instructed him to set up the Tabernacle for a ceremony to open the Ark at Geheimhaven. He and Belloq had made a deal whereby Mohler would arrange the Jewish ceremony in return for Belloq speaking favorably of him to Adolf Hitler once he arrived back in Berlin.[2] The captain then met Belloq and Colonel Dietrich at the base when they arrived.[1]

Unfortunately for Mohler, Belloq's promises came to naught as later that night, the archaeologist met his end during the ritual along with the rest of the gathered Nazi presence who had witnessed the opening of the Ark when the ancient relic's powers produced beams of light that went through and killed every soldier present. Unlike his comrades, Mohler did not attend the ceremony and was thus spared from the Ark's wrath.[1]

Personality and traits[]

A tall Nazi Captain, Mohler served as the ranking officer at the island base of Geheimhaven. He spoke with a nasal tone and marched about the base staring forward and barking orders in his well-kept uniform.[3] Despite the antisemitic ideology of the Third Reich, Mohler was willing to arrange a Jewish ceremony if that meant that the Führer would hear good things about him, as René Emile Belloq had promised in exchange for arranging the ceremony for the opening of the Ark.[2]

Colonel Herman Dietrich considered Mohler to be a stiff and constantly nervous man who did not question his superiors whilst also doing anything in his power to retain his position lest he be reassigned to a more dangerous environment for failing Hitler.[3]

Behind the scenes[]

Mohler, credited in the film as "Tall Captain", was portrayed by the late Tony Vogel in Raiders of the Lost Ark.[1] The name of Mohler was first given in Campbell Black's novelization.[2]

Mohler in the tabernacle

Mohler with René Emile Belloq outside the Tabernacle in a deleted scene from Raiders.

During the development of Lawrence Kasdan's script, Mohler's role was more involved than in the finished version of the film. He was to attend Belloq's opening of the Ark of the Covenant, but he was going to not die because of it. Instead, after the deaths of Belloq and the other Nazis, Colonel Shliemann (Dietrich in the final film) was to accidentally shoot him as, whilst they are temporarily blinded by the light of the Ark, Mohler is mistaken for Indiana Jones.[4]

Mohler is not visible in the crowd of Nazis at the Tabernacle in the finished film. Another officer who may or may not be intended to be him but apparently played by a different actor can be seen walking with the procession to the Tabernacle, but no other officers except Dietrich are present for the Ark-opening ceremony.[1] In a deleted scene, Mohler is present at the Tabernacle's entrance, but doesn't actually enter with Belloq and the two soldiers carrying the Ark, thus his ultimate fate is left unknown.

The film's novelization implies that he does indeed die when the Ark is opened,[2] but Marvel Comics' comic book adaptation more explicitly shows his presence there by having him subdue Jones at the Tabernacle.[5]



Notes and references[]