Philippe Sands

Philippe Sands : The Ratline - Love, Lies and Justice on the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive

Neighbourhood
Location
Keats Community Library
10 Keats Grove
Hampstead
NW3 2RR
London
Event time
7.30pm - 9.00pm
Cost
£10.00
single
Date
5 Jun 2020
Next event: 5 Jun 2020
Telephone
Email
keatscommunitylibrary@gmail.com

Eminent Human barrister and academic Philippe Sands will talk about his new book, an investigation into Otto von Wächter, a senior Austrian Nazi indicted for mass murder, who escaped justice after the war. Books will be available for signing.

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. He spent three years hiding in the Austrian Alps before making his way to Rome and being taken in by a Vatican bishop. He remained there for three months. While preparing to travel to Argentina on the 'ratline' he died unexpectedly, in July 1949, a few days after having lunch with an 'old comrade' whom he suspected of having been recruited by the Americans.

In THE RATLINE Philippe Sands offers a unique account of the daily life of a Nazi fugitive, the love between Wächter and his wife Charlotte, who continued to write regularly to each other while he was on the run, and a fascinating insight into life in Rome and among American and Soviet spies active at the start of the Cold War. Using modern medical expertise, the door is unlocked to a mystery that haunts Wächter's youngest child, who believes his father was a good man - what was Wächter doing while in hiding, and what exactly caused his death?