Rattus was born on an agricultural estate just outside Berlin, which became his childhood residence. His father, Reinhard von Engels, was a Junker and a former Prussian cavalry officer, and his mother, Mariya Leonora Nemov, was an eccentric but intelligent Volga German noblewoman from Russia. Leonora's endless fascination with biology eventually leads to her naming her first-born son after the black rat's older scientific name, Mus rattus, which caused disappointment from Reinhard. Rattus is the eldest of seven children and, as per family tradition, he was trained by his father in the arts of war and combat as early as eight years old, to serve the Prussian Army in the future. He had finally enlisted in the Army on 1792 as a Hussar, during the outbreak of the War of the First Coalition, which was an effort of several European monarchies to contain Revolutionary France. A year later, Rattus fights his first battle at Primasens, which was a Prussian victory.
On 1795, however, France had peace talks with Prussia, which manifested in the First Treaty of Basel, making Prussia withdraw from the Coalition and remain in an armed neutral state, which meant that Rattus can go home and rest with his family. During this time, many developments happened in the von Engels household. Markus, the fifth youngest sibling, entered the seminary to become a Jesuit on 1796. Ruprecht, the third eldest, committed suicide a year later, because of his frustrations regarding his homosexuality. And another year later, Adelina, the fourth sibling in the family, eloped with Gerard Wulfenbach, a Dutch-German merchant, and their whereabouts remained unknown for a long time.
Wanting to cool his head from the incidents that had happened in the past few years, Rattus went on an excursion to the Electorate of Hanover in 1799 for a year, which was also a opportunity for him to train his capabilities as a cavalry soldier. During one of his horseback riding sessions, a young woman, who Rattus poetically described as "with skin and hair as white as snow and eyes red like blood or fire", approached him while he was resting on a tree stump, offering him a red liquid in a flask, which looked like red wine, while telling him that the drink will make him "taste eternity". Tired from the riding and seeing nothing wrong with the beverage, Rattus quickly received it and drank the concoction, conclusively making him immortal, although its effects were not immediately felt by him, even after he went home the following year.
On 1805, Rattus goes back to his Cavalry Regiment, midst rumors that the Kingdom of Prussia will go to war again. The War of the Fourth Coalition did happen the following year but the Prussian Army, still using tactics dating back from the late King Frederick the Great's reign, were decisively defeated at the Battle of Jena-Auerstedt by Napoleon's Army. It was during this battle that Rattus discovered his immortality, when he managed to wake up after being caught in the range of a cannon's canister shot hours after the fight itself. The city of Berlin and, by extension, the whole Kingdom was soon occupied by the French Empire, which forced the remnants of the Army to retreat at Koenigsberg. On November of 1806, the Prussians tried to fight against the French forces at the city of Halle, but were still utterly crushed and captured. Rattus took part in the battle and, when he saw that Army's resistance failed, promptly hid to the Harz Mountains, in order to start a individual guerrilla-style warfare against the French. During this time, he avoided wearing his standard Hussar uniform and, instead, sewn a uniform made out of sackcloth. While his strategy in dealing with the French remained Hussar-like, he modified it to be more efficient as an individual cavalryman, which involved luring small squads into forested areas and then attacking them. This method earned him scores of fatalities under his name and earned him a reputation among Prussians and French alike as "The Sackcloth Hussar", although Rattus himself remained unaware of this and, in turn, no one really had an idea on his exact identity.
However, through investigating, the Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuettel found Rattus' location and promptly confronted him, inviting him to join his "personal army" to reclaim the invaded Duchy of Brunschweig. Rattus, although reluctant at first to fight for a state that he does not have an allegiance, was finally convinced to join "The Black Horde" after the Duke argued that it would be a fight for the "German Realm" itself, as well as a chance for revenge against the French Empire for the occupied Kingdom of Prussia. According to Rattus, this was the first incantation of his then-emerging German nationalism. On the same year, the Black Horde mobilized to capture Brunschweig from the French, which as a successful endeavor. This action earned the Duke's corps the nickname "The Black Brunswickers". However, the Brunswickers were quickly driven out of the city, but the Duke was able to escape to England to join his cousin and brother-in-law, the future King George IV, along with his troops. Rattus was not willing to leave Continental Europe along with the Black Horde, but was convinced by the Duke after making a wager that he would be dismissed from the corps after a year of service. Nevertheless, Rattus left the Black Brunswickers in 1811, two years after his recruitment into the corps, as he volunteered to serve for one more year, in order to train and learn from his fellow Brunswicker hussars.
On 1812, after a year of hiding and ceasing all fighting activity, Rattus resumes his Sackcloth Hussar persona, albeit he colored the uniform black and rode a black horse, as a tribute to his fellow Brunswickers and to terrify the French. On December of the same year, General Yorck of the Prussian Army, who are now supporting Napoleon's invasion of Russia, negotiated with Field Marshal Hans Karl von Diebitsch after being isolated by his superior. This led to the Convention of Tauroggen, which neutralized Prussia out of the invasion. This made the Prussians enthusiastic, and intensified Rattus' will to fight for the freedom of his Kingdom. And on the following year, February of 1813, The Treaty of Kalisz is signed between Prussian and the Russian Empire to make an alliance against Napoleon's France, leading to a declaration of war by the King Frederick William III of Prussia a month after. He then made a speech addressed not only to Prussians, but to all Germans, for a war of liberation, in a proclamation now known as "An Mein Volk". Rattus subsequently abandons his Sackcloth Hussar uniform and joins the newly reformed Prussian Army on April 11, his birthday, of the same year, as a gift to himself. He was then assigned to the 1st Life Hussar Regiment, known as Death's Head Hussars for their black uniform and silvered skull and crossbones badge. On August 23, the Battle of Grossbeeren, Rattus' first battle for the Prussian Army after 7 years of non-enlistment, was won by the Prussians. And on October, the Sixth Coalition, which included the Prussian Army, took part in the Leipzig Campaign, the largest and bloodiest battle of the Napoleonic Wars, and was decisively won by them against the French.
The Battle for Paris and its subsequent capture by the Coalition forces on March 31 of 1814 led to Napoleon's abdication on April 6, which was further cemented by his ratification of the Treaty of Fontainebleu on April 11, ensuring his exile to the island of Elba. On May 30, peace between the Sixth Coalition and the French Empire was established upon the Treaty of Paris, also known as the First Peace of Paris. By the end of the year, Rattus decided to retire from the Prussian Army to a family rest house in Brandenburg, which later becomes the Von Engels Manor. At the same time, the Congress of Vienna is ongoing and is making talks regarding the restoration of the borders of European nations.
On February of 1815, Napoleon escaped from the island and entered Paris on March 20, with the French people still backing him up, starting the now-called Hundred Days of Napoleon. The Great Powers of Europe then ratified the Treaty of Vienna on March 25, prompting Rattus to go back to the Prussian Army again. It was during this time that one provision of the Final Act of Congress of Vienna formed the German Confederation, lead by the Austrian Empire. On June 18, The Battle of Waterloo takes place, which marked Napoleon's final major defeat, making him leave the Imperial French throne once again four days later. Graf von Zieten's I Corps, the unit which Rattus belongs to, was the first Coalition unit to enter Paris after the war. After Louis the XVII is restored to the French throne on July 8 and Napoleon is exiled to the island of St. Helena on October 16, Rattus, after assuring himself that the Kingdom of Prussia's future is secured, resigns from its Army on November 20 and goes back to hiding in his rest house. On 1816, Rattus starts an agricultural estate in Frankfurt an der Oder as a business venture, marking the start of his first military dormancy.
In 1848, Rattus, while on his way to a business dealing in Berlin, witnessed King Frederick William IV, along with some ministers and generals, parading in the streets wearing black, red and gold, which were the revolutionary colors during that time. Rattus cites this event as his reason of fully supporting German unification, which was a liberal idea during that era. At the same time, the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein wanted independence from the Kingdom of Denmark, which sparked the First Schleswig War, with Prussia backing the two duchies. The war, however, was won by Denmark as they regain their control. This eventually influenced Rattus' decision to return to the Army on 1860, wanting to compensate for his absence during this war. Otto von Bismarck became the Prime Minister of Prussia and Foreign Minister in 1862, and the situation regarding the two duchies escalated in 1863 when troops from the kingdoms of Saxony and Hanover occupied Holstein, which lead to the Second Schleswig War in 1864. This was won both by the Prussians and Austrians against the Danes, and Schleswig and Holstein was finally given the Confederation.
The Schleswig-Holstein Question, however, was not answered by the last war. In 1866, the Kingdom of Prussia and the Austrian Empire went to war over the disputed territories, now known as Austrio-Prussian War. Twenty days after the Prussians win the decisive Battle of Koeniggraetz, the Peace of Prague was signed, which not only ended the war, but also dissolved the German Confederation and transferred the administration of Schleswig and Holstein to Prussia, becoming a single province. Bismarck will then be appointed as the Chancellor of the North German Confederation, which was formed on 1867, along several smaller German states.
On the other hand, France, still feeling the effects of its defeat in the Napoleonic Wars as well as alarmed by its quick fall from its socio-political dominance, were one of the opponents against German unification. Bismarck knew that a war against them was necessary to facilitate the formation of a unified German nation, so he publicly published the Ems Telegram on July 13 of 1870, which was a transcript of a friendly conversation between King William I of Prussia and Count Vincent Benedetti, France's ambassador to the Kingdom. Bismarck edited the transcript to make it look like the two participants insulted each other. Six days later, France declared war against Prussia over this, which started the Franco-Prussian War. It, nevertheless, was won by the Kingdom of Prussia and was ended the Treaty of Frankfurt. William I was also proclaimed as the first Emperor of the newly founded German Empire, which was formed during the course of the war. On 1872, Rattus turns a hundred years old, and he decides to resign from the Army, which began his second military dormancy.
On 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir presumptive to the Austrian throne, was assassinated by Serbian nationalists. This caused Austria-Hungary to declare war against Serbia, which sparked a chain of alliances created by the previous decades to be mobilized. Approximately a month after his assassination, the First World War started, prompting Rattus to join the Imperial German Army and end his second military dormancy. After fighting unsuccessfully in the Somme Offensive and witnessing the different technologies that were developed and used in it, Rattus, in his own words, began to see the war as "something horrifying and too peculiar for him", making him to feel alienated, which caused him to swore off front line duty after the war ended. His experiences regarding the war was exacerbated during 1917, in which the lack of military rations drove Rattus and his men to resort to cannibalism, as well as a botched practical joke involving a trench mortar leading him to be sexually impotent for the rest of his life. On November 4, 1918, a rebellion broke out rooting from the port city of Kiel, beginning the so-called German November Revolution, which caused the Emperor to abdicate from his throne. Six days later, a German Republic has been announced by Philipp Scheidemann in Berlin, which became a separate Provisional Government from the communists' "Workers' Republic". And on November 9, representatives from the two sides of the war met at Compiege, France in a railway carriage to sign an armistice, which marked the end of the First World War.
In 1919, the infamous Treaty of Versailles was signed at June 28, which pinned the blame on Germany and its allies, substantially weakened their armed forces and forced them pay huge amounts of war reparations to Great Britain, United States and France. This, coupled with the signing of the new German Republic's constitution on August, which started the Weimar Republic, brought great anger to many Germans, especially Rattus himself, making him quit the Army. This started his third military dormancy. In 1921, hyperinflation caused by the payment of war reparations hit Germany, and he was reduced to poverty, and needed to work in a labor position for the Krupp steel manufacturers. He was hit with alcoholism during this time, while still ardently keeping up the demands of his job, which slowly deteriorated his mental health. His employer, noticing Rattus' fatigue, forced him to take a month-long vacation in October, and he headed out to Coburg to take a rest. On October 10, Rattus witnessed the first public rally of the National Socialist German Workers' Party, or the Nazi Party in the same town, and his first personal encounter with Adolf Hitler himself, who asked him for directions to the town square. The Nazi Party eventually left the town victorious against the Marxists who had hold on Coburg, which left Rattus impressed on Hitler's enthusiasm, but still skeptical enough of the Party's anti-Semitism.
More than a year after the incident at Coburg, the Nazi Party attempted an armed revolt in their base town, Munich, which came to be known as Beer Hall Putsch. It failed, however, with 16 Nazi party members dying in the armed struggle and eventual arrest of Hitler in 1923. In 1924, he was sentenced to five years of imprisonment for high treason and during this time, Rattus heard about the Nazi Party's failed coup and visited Hitler in Landsberg Prison, where he was held during that time. He confronted Hitler and asked him about his intentions, and this discussion lasted for a whole day, which finally revealed Hitler's philosophy. Rattus, while still isn't impressed by Hitler's extremist ideas, was left more impressed by Hitler's unbridled enthusiasm and optimism, as well as determination to take the Versailles Treaty down. Hitler was released from prison in the same year, when he was given pardon by the Bavarian Supreme Court.
On October 29, 1929, United States, which were handing out loans to Weimar Germany for the rebuilding of its economy, was hit with its most devastating collapse in its stock market, which started the now-called Great Depression. This made the US stop giving out loans to Germany altogether, which proved to be devastating to its economy. Many people during this time lost their jobs, and Rattus himself was laid off from being a steelworker a year later. This mainly became one of his reasons in joining the Nazi party, which was flourishing and popular during that time, and he joined the Schtuzstaffel mainly because, in his own words, he thought it was just a bodyguard duty. In 1932, the Nazi Party became the majority in the German parliament after the elections and by late January of 1933, President von Hindenburg was forced to appoint Hitler as the chancellor after two elections in the parliament.
On February 27 in the same year, an arson attack on Reichstag, the German parliament building in Berlin, was conducted by unknown assailants. The Nazis blamed this attack to the communists and on the next day, they passed the Law for the Protection of People and State, also known as Reichstag Fire Decree, which virtually took away many of the democratic liberties in the Weimar constitution from the German people. A month later, The Dachau concentration camp opens, and Rattus was assigned there to work as a warden, which initially was a prison for German political prisoners. On March 23, The Law to Remedy the Distress of the People and The Nation, also known as The Enabling Act of 1933, was passed, effectively allowing the Nazi-dominated cabinet to enact laws without any intervention from the parliament. Adolf Hitler declared the so-called "Nazi revolution" a success on July 6 in a meeting with higher-ranking officers, and then the Nazis ban all other political parties 9 days later.
The Nazis, now being the political majority, started a series of murders against the percieved enemies or traitors of the regime on June 30, 1934, also known as the Blood Purge or The Night of The Long Knives, and severely affected the Nazi paramilitary organization Strumabteilung, or SA, which previously helped Hitler in his rise to power. Then-president Paul von Hindenburg also died during that year, which made Hitler illegally combine his Chancellor position to von Hindenburg's now-empty post. On August 19, seventeen days after von Hindenburg's death, a referendum took place in order to get the German public's vote regarding this action taken. The results showed that 90% of the voters approved Hitler's fusion of the two posts, making it legalized. According to Rattus, who witnessed the following events, he regarded the year 1934 as "the year that the old Prussia he knew died", especially upon von Hindenburg's death, in which he abstained from drinking alcohol when he heard of his demise.
On 1935, a series of anti-Semitic laws, known as The Nuremberg Race Laws, were implemented to legally deprive the Jews of German citizenship and right to marriage. And on March 7 of the following year of 1936, nineteen German infantry battalions and a few planes occupied the industrially-essential region of Rhineland, which was against the terms stated in the Versailles Treaty. Rattus' unit during this era, The SS-Totenkopfverbaende or SS-Death's Head Group, was established on the same month, with the purpose of administering the concentration camps. Near the end of the year, Nazi Germany forms a military alliance with Fascist Italy and signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with Japan, in which Italy eventually joins after a year.
The German Army marched onto Austria and subsequently annexed it on March 1938 in defiance to the Treaty of Versailles, an event now known as Anschluss. On the same year they managed to annex many more territories that were lost after the dissolution of the German Empire, as well as new ones that were never a part of it, like the industrial Czechoslovakian region of Suetenland. But also on the same year, a coordinated attack, which was a response to the assassination of a German diplomat by a Jewish refugee in Paris, was executed by the Nazis against Jewish people and property and was well-disguised as a pogrom. It happened on November 9 to 10, now known as the Night of the Broken Glass. Thousands of Jews were beaten and sent to concentration camps during this period, although many of them were released in the course of three months. Rattus, upon the arrival of the Jews in Dachau, was discreetly trying to make their sentence in the camp more pleasant, although he was being held back by his fears of being labeled as a sympathizer, and thus his work was ineffective and ultimately futile.
On 1939, the German Army finally invaded Czechoslovakia on March 15 and Poland on September 1. The latter attack prompted Great Britain and France of declare war against Germany, therefore marking the end of the appeasement policy and starting the Second World War. On the first two months of 1940, there were talks of opening a new concentration camp in Oswiecim in Poland and on April 30, Rattus, along with Rudolf Hoess and four other SS officers, arrived in the newly-built Auschwitz concentration camp. It only, however, was rendered officially opened for service with the arrival of 30 German criminal prisoners on May 20. The first crematorium in Auschwitz began operation on August 15, and Rattus was assigned to lead the SS men guarding these facilities, as well as sign the papers authorizing their usage.
Heinrich Himmler, the head commander of the SS, visited Auschwitz on March 1 of 1941 and orders an expansion of the camp, which was why the construction of the second main subcamp, Birkenau, started on this year and consistently expanded throughout the course of the war. On September 3, Rattus witnessed the first gassings in Auschwitz against 600 Soviet prisoners of war and 250 ill and weak Polish prisoners, which unnerved him. It was then the first use of Zyklon B, as suggested by Karl Fritzsch, an SS Hauptstrumfuehrer who will be later known for his cruelty. The "Wall of Death" was used for the first time on November 11 to execute 151 Polish prisoners by firing squad.
Himmler ordered all Jews in the German concentration camps to be sent in the Polish concentration camp on October 5, 1942, in accordance to the plans laid out by Reinhard Heyrich in the Wannasee Conference regarding the "Final Solution" earlier in the year on January 20, just before his death on June 4 after being fatally wounded in the assassination attempt by Czech Underground agents. On December 10, the first transport of German Jews arrived in Auschwitz, and thus Rattus finally realized Hitler's true plan regarding them, which was outright killing the Jews, leading to his disillusion and disgust at the Nazi regime when he saw a few of the inmates at Auschwitz present their documents which proved that they saw service back in World War 1. However, he continued to carry out his duties at Auschwitz due to his cynicism combined with his sense of duty or "Pflichtbewusstsein", saying that as much as his Prussian values made him hate Nazism, it also was, paradoxically, the reason why he stayed working in the camp, thinking that "evil had won over us, and this is how it has to be now, so I thought I had no choice anymore but to carry out the duties given to me until this world ends itself", in his own words.
The Romani and Sinti people, better known as Gypsies, were also subjected to the same treatment by the Nazis on January of 1943 and on March 14, the Krakow Ghetto, one of the largest ghettos for the Jews, have been liquidated, with many of its inhabitants sent to concentration camps. Many more crematoriums have been rendered operational during this year, as well as it also marked the arrival of Josef Mengele, Auschwitz's infamous "Angel of Death", who Rattus described as having a "horrifying" personality. On 1944, when the war was turning in favor of the Allies, the advancing Soviet forces eventually liberated Majdanek on July 24, which as very close to Auschwitz. The Sonderkommandos, prisoners who were assigned to clean the gas bunkers and dispose the inmates' corpses into the crematoria, were notified by the camp resistance about plans of killing them. Thus, on October 7, they revolted, which resulted in the destruction of Crematoria IV, death of 3 SS personnel and eventual suppression of the revolt, in which around 450 of the Sonderkommando were killed or executed. Rattus almost gets his immortality discovered because of his ardent refusal to shoot back at the prisoners during this revolt, although he, after this event, realized that it "wouldn't have made any difference on his record" if he shot back at them. Nevertheless, he remained steadfastly against directly being violent to the prisoners, attracting some suspicions from his fellow SS-Death's Head. The last gassings in Auschwitz took place in October 30, and Himmler ordered the destruction of the camp crematoria on November 25, in order to hide any evidence of the Final Solution ever taking place, in which Rattus was reassigned to lead the men under his command on guarding the camp in general.
On January 17 of 1945, nearing the last days of the war, the SS troops start to evacuate 60,000 prisoners from the camp, leaving behind 7,500 prisoners, who were too ill or weak to walk, as well as a few SS members, Rattus and some of his men included. There were orders from the SS command to execute any remaining prisoners in the camp, but it was never carried out due to the increasingly confusing state of the war, especially for Germany. On January 19, the Soviet Army liberated Krakow and Warsaw as a part of the Vistula-Oder Offensive and are now heading towards the camp itself. Rattus, along a few of his men, then began their escape from Auschwitz on the next day, riding a car towards Berlin, under the guise of directly reporting the situation of the camp to Hitler himself, who had already retreated to the Fuehrerbunker on January 16. Auschwitz itself was finally captured by the advancing Soviet Army in January 27, liberating the remaining prisoners in the camp.
After Hitler gave his permission to the personnel of the bunker to leave, Rattus finally sought to confront him for the last time on April 23, on his private quarters, to directly state his ire about being assigned to the concentration camps, as well as to rebuke Hitler himself about the whole concept of the Final Solution. This confrontation lead to a short argument between the two of them, which Hitler revealed that he always viewed Rattus with suspicion and contempt, calling him as "a demonic presence" and accusing him of conservative royalism. Rattus, in turn, affirmed that he is indeed a conservative royalist, and only supported him in order to defy the Treaty of Versailles, as well as telling Hitler that he "ruined Germany". Hitler then accused Rattus of being weak, stating that "you really think I did ruin this country, yet you served me!" This effectively silenced Rattus, and instead just changed the topic to him requesting permission to leave the bunker. Hitler did give the permission, but not without stripping him of his rank and his membership from both the SS and the Nazi party, as well as giving him the last order of burning the contents of the three suitcases handed to him, the latter being an errant decision which Rattus attributed to the fact that Hitler "looked like he was using drugs" during their argument. The three suitcases are still in Rattus' possession, remaining unopened until today. After the midnight on April 29, Hitler married his long-time mistress Eva Braun and then dictated his last will and testament to his secretary. And on the afternoon of the next day, Hitler committed suicide. Despite being stripped of rank and membership from the SS, Rattus fought against the Soviets in the Battle in Berlin, the only military engagement he did during the Second World War, until General Helmuth Weidling surrendered the city on May 2, which prompted Rattus to retreat to the Von Engels manor, marking the start of his 13-year self-imposed social isolation.
On 1960, Rattus ends his isolation and starts his profession as an arms dealer, for undisclosed personal reasons rather than monetary gain.