Led by: Monika Ochędowska
In cooperation with the Jagiellonian University Publishing House, we would like to invite you to a meeting with Philippe Sands, author of the book “The Ratline: Love, Lies, and Justice on the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive”.
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, assisted by his wife Charlotte, before making his way to Rome where he was helped 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 spending a weekend with an ‘old comrade.’ In The Ratline, Philippe Sands offers a unique account of the daily life of a senior Nazi and fugitive, and of his wife. Drawing on a remarkable archive of family letters and diaries, he unveils a fascinating insight into life before and during the war, on the run, in Rome, and into the Cold War. Eventually the door is unlocked to 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?
Philippe Sands is a law professor at the University College London and a lawyer at Matrix Chambers. He often participates in international tribunals. He participated in many most important legal cases of the last years, such as the trial of Augusto Pinochet and trials regarding Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Iraq, Guantanamo, Chagos or the Rohingya in Myanmar. He published such books as “Lawless World: America and the Making and Breaking of Global Rules” and “Torture Team: Rumsfeld’s Memo and the Betrayal of American Values.” For the book “East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity,” he received the Baillie Gifford Prize and the British Book Award. “The Ratline” is a “Sunday Times” bestseller.
About the book:
“Hypnotic, shocking and unputdownable” – John le Carré
“A triumph of research and brilliant storytelling” – Antony Beevor
“Breathtaking, gripping, shattering” – Elif Shafak
In Polish and English.