In The Ratline Philippe Sands offers a unique account of the daily life of a senior Nazi and fugitive, and of his wife. As Governor of Galicia, SS Brigadeführer Otto Freiherr von Wächter presided over an authority on whose territory hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles were killed, including the family of the author’s grandfather. By the time the war ended in May 1945, he was indicted for ‘mass murder’. Hunted by the Soviets, the Americans, the Poles and the British, as well as groups of Jews, Wächter went on the run. While preparing to travel to Argentina on the ‘ratline’ he died unexpectedly, in July 1949. Join Philippe Sands as he unveils a fascinating insight into Wächter’s life and unlocks a mystery that haunts Wächter’s youngest son, who continues to believe his father was a good man – what happened to Otto Wächter, and how did he die?
“Hypnotic, shocking and unputdownable” – John le Carré
About the author: Philippe Sands is Professor of Law at UCL and a practising barrister at Matrix Chambers. He has been involved in many of the most important international cases of recent years, including Pinochet, Congo, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Iraq, Guantanamo and the Rohingya. He is the author of Lawless World, Torture Team, and East West Street, which won the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-fiction.
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