Arnold Ernst Toht was a Nazi Gestapo agent and René Belloq's acquired right–hand man during the Nazi effort to locate the Ark of the Covenant. He appeared as the secondary antagonist in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
In 1936, Major Arnold Ernst Toht was sent to Nepal by the Third Reich Special Antiquities Collection to acquire the headpiece to the Staff of Ra from Marion Ravenwood. Toht and his surbordinate Otto hired three henchmen off the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal known as Ratty Nepalese, Mean Mongolian, and Giant Sherpa and followed Indiana Jones to The Raven bar in Patan where they tried to take the piece.
All the henchmen who went into the bar with Toht died during the ensuing fight with Jones and Ravenwood, during which Marion's bar was set ablaze. Toht noticed the headpiece lying on the ground during the skirmish but when he tried to pick it up, he burned his hand as the headpiece had been lying close to the fire. Howling in pain, he fled from The Raven, jumping through the tavern's window to plunge his hand into the snow outside.
When Toht met up with Colonel Dietrich, Gobler, and René Belloq in Cairo, his "Heil Hitler" salute revealed his headpiece-scarred hand. From this scar the Nazis were able to create a crude, one-sided reproduction of the headpiece; but the missing information from the other side would prove critical to finding the Ark's resting place, the Well of the Souls.
Frustrated with Belloq's inability to extract useful information from the (now captive) Marion Ravenwood, Dietrich had Toht intercede. His own interrogation proved equally fruitless however. When the Nazis finally caught up with Jones at the Well of the Souls, Toht threw Ravenwood into the Well, for they had no further use for her. Belloq's protest against the action caused Toht to giggle with glee.
He later accompanied Belloq and his fellow Nazis in the effort to deliver the ark to a safer location, since his duty was to oversee the delivery of the artifact Hitler desired. However, Jones succeeded in stealing the ark back from them. Toht and the others located his whereabouts later on and took the ark again along with Marion.
Shortly thereafter, on a small island north of Crete, Toht stood with Belloq and Dietrich in the Tabernacle for the ceremonial opening of the Ark. Initially, the Ark seemed to bear only dust and sand; this amused Toht, who never quite believed in the supernatural imperative of his assignment. His laughter was replaced by astonishment, and then screams of terror, as the Ark unleashed its true power. The Gestapo agent's face was melted off of his skull by the intense fire and his remains were taken away by the following whirlwind along with his life and his greed.