- "I had put my values and dignity ahead of my own life. So Von List made someone else pay for my stubbornness. Should I refuse to help Die Wahrheit, or drag my feet in any way, the love of my life would be slowly tortured to death. Of course, I complied. How could I do otherwise? But I also made a silent promise to myself. I would learn of Die Wahrheit's secrets. If we found anything of real value, I would turn it against them. Somehow, I would destroy Von List and his Nazi thugs from within."
- — Gabriel Krafft
Professor Gabriel Krafft is a character featured in Call of Duty: Vanguard Zombies. He was first mentioned in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War on intel Outbreak. He is a demonologist, as well as a studier of the occult.
University of Leipzig and Die Wahrheit
Gabriel Krafft was a professor of demonology at the University of Leipzig during World War II, where he worked alongside his assistant Franz. In 1939, he met SS-Oberführer Wolfram Von List, leader of Die Wahrheit who informed him that he was to draft a resignation letter and prepare for an overseas trip as an advisor. Krafft initially refused, stating he "had no desire to help Reichsführer Himmler twist history to fit the Nazi narrative." In response, Von List then shot and killed Franz, asking Krafft if he had his attention now. He was then arrested and sent to an SS military prison alongside countless other archaeologists, museum curators, historians, and more. There, they were all tasked by Von List to search for various mythological objects and places to prove the existence of the fabled Aryan master-race. Out of all those Von List had captured, Krafft was the only one who still refused to serve the Nazi regime, declaring he would rather die. This only amused Von List, who had Krafft's spouse dragged out of their home and interrogated. Von List gave Krafft an ultimatum: serve Die Wahrheit, or the love of his life would be tortured to death - slowly. Naturally, Krafft begrudgingly agreed to help. However, in secret, he vowed to himself that he would find any method he could to thwart the work of Von List and his Nazi thugs.
During his work with Die Wahrheit, Krafft took part of archaeological digging expeditions in 1944 across the globe where he managed to uncover several, mysterious runes. During these expeditions, Krafft kept a journal documenting his discoveries of said runes. One of these runes was a rune associated with the Elder God Kortifex the Deathless. Krafft correctly assumed these runes held some sort of shared meaning. Another rune was found in Egypt, with a rune with similar markings being found in Mexico. This rune belonged to Bellekar the Warlock. Die Wahrheit soon after discovered five artifacts, each linked to an Elder God.
Army of the Dead
When Von List became symbiotically linked to Kortifex thanks to the use of his artifact, the SS-Oberführer gained the ability to raise and command an army of the dead. Beginning by resurrecting the corpses of those who died at the Battle of Stalingrad, Von List intended to use his zombie army to march across Europe and ensure an Axis victory. Horrified, Krafft would magically seal himself in his room at Stalingrad using the Tome of Rituals and send a distress call to Allied operatives to deploy and investigate. There, the Allies would be trapped by Kortifex in a containment spell, forcing them to fight the undead. While there, Krafft spoke to the Allied operatives as they fought the terrifying armies of Von List, explaining to them his motives and history with Die Wahrheit. He provides them with the remaining artifacts, allowing them to form a connection with Inviktor the Destroyer, Norticus the Conqueror, and Saraxis the Shadow, alongside Bellekar.
Eventually, Krafft invites the operatives to meet him near his sealed room, where Bellekar points out a Dark Aether portal within Von List's office. The operatives enter the portal, leading them into the Void, where they find a page from the Tome of Rituals, sealed by magic orbs. Unable to break the seal, the operatives hold out until Krafft re-establishes contact with them and pleads them to escape. The Dark Aether gods propose a plan to recover a weapon from the Dark Aether that would allow them to break the seal, but before they can proceed, Krafft informs them of the existence of a new portal, which Bellekar identifies as a signal from their new ally, Vercanna the Last.
Recovering the Missing Page
While Krafft remains in Stalingrad, the Allied operatives use Vercanna's portal and arrive at Egypt, where Die Wahreiht first uncovered the Scepter of Kortifex. Deducing that the missing Tome page may contain secrets on Kortifex's artifact, Krafft requests the operatives to find a way to recover it, in hopes of severing the bond between Kortifex and Von List. The operatives find the Decimator Shield, a weapon capable of destroying the seal in the Void, but they first have to prove their worth to Vercanna. After completing her task, they are able to acquire the Shield, which they then use in the Void to destroy the magic orbs and break the seal. The operatives successfully recover the page and return.
- "From the war. I found documentation about a man who faced a similar conundrum. Professor Krafft. A Demonologist. Studier of the occult. A man forced to work for a great evil. Krafft's choice was not unlike my own. His life's work versus potential calamity. His choice speaks for itself, since we are here now to read the story of what he endured and accomplished. I hope I choose as wisely as he did."
- — Oskar Strauss remembering Krafft.
Krafft would eventually succeed in defeating Von List, as the Allies would go on to win the war. On May 12th, 1985, Requiem Head of Energy Research Oskar Strauss was reviewing old files in Requiem's archive and learned about Krafft. He compared Krafft to himself, stating that the two have faced similar choices in their lives.