February 7, 2021, at 3:00 pm CT
Book Fest In Your Living Room Presents
Philippe Sands, The Ratline: The Exalted Life and Mysterious Death of a Nazi Fugitive
Zoom Webinar Author Talk + Q & A
Tickets: $6 for one virtual ticket
Philippe Sands, QC (born 17 October 1960) is a British and French lawyer at Matrix Chambers, and Professor of Laws and Director of the Centre on International Courts and Tribunals at University College London. A specialist in international law, he appears as counsel and advocate before many international courts and tribunals, including the International Court of Justice, the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights and the International Criminal Court.
Sands serves on the panel of arbitrators at the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
He is the author of seventeen books on international law, including Lawless World (2005) and Torture Team (2008). His book East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity (2016) has been awarded numerous prizes, including the 2016 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction. His latest book is The Ratline: Love, Lies and Justice on the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive (2020) about Otto Wächter.
Since 5 February 2018 Sands has served as President of English PEN.
Baron Otto von Wächter, Austrian lawyer, husband, father, high Nazi official, senior SS officer, former governor of Galicia during the war, creator and overseer of the Krakow ghetto, indicted after as a war criminal for the mass murder of more than 100,000 Poles, hunted by the Soviets, the Americans, the British, by Simon Wiesenthal, on the run for three years, from 1945 to 1948 . . .
Philippe Sands pieces together, in riveting detail, Wächter’s extraordinary, shocking story. Given full access to the Wächter family archives–journals, diaries, tapes, and more–and with the assistance of the Wächters’ son Horst, who believes his father to have been a “good man,” Sands writes of Wächter’s rise through the Nazi high command, his “blissful” marriage and family life as their world was brought to ruin, and his four-year flight to escape justice–to the Tirol, to Rome, and the Vatican; given a new identity, on his way to a new life via “the Ratline” to Perón’s Argentina, the escape route taken by Eichmann, Mengele, and thousands of other Nazis. Wächter’s escape was cut short by his mysterious, shocking death in Rome, in the midst of the burgeoning Cold War (was he being recruited in postwar Italy by the Americans and the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps or by the Soviet NKVD or by both; or was he poisoned by one side or the other, as his son believes–or by both?) . . .
An extraordinary discovery told up-close through access to a trove of family correspondence between Wächter and his wife–part historical detective story, part love story, part family memoir, part Cold War espionage thriller.