The Ratline: On the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive
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In partnership with The London Library , Philippe Sands, award-winning author of the bestselling East West Street, discusses his remarkable new book, in conversation with Elif Shafak.
The Ratline is the story of Otto von Wächter who, as the Nazi Governor of Galicia, presided over a territory in which hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles were killed. Indicted for ‘mass murder’ at the end of the war and hunted by multiple international agencies, Wächter went into hiding, first in the Austrian Alps and then in Rome, where a Vatican bishop gave him refuge. But, just before he could take ‘the ratline’ to Argentina, he unexpectedly died.
A unique and fascinating insight into the life of a Nazi fugitive and the network of spies in early Cold War Rome, The Ratline is also a meticulously researched investigation, unlocking the mysteries surrounding Wächter’s extraordinary life and death.
Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist and the most widely read female author in Turkey. She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published seventeen books, eleven of which are novels. Her work has been translated into 50 languages. Her latest novel 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and chosen Blackwell’s Book of the Year. Her previous novel, The Forty Rules of Love was chosen by BBC among 100 Novels that Shaped Our World. Shafak holds a PhD in political science and she has taught at various universities in Turkey, the US and the UK, including St Anne's College, Oxford University, where she is an honorary fellow. She is a member of Weforum Global Agenda Council on Creative Economy and a founding member of ECFR (European Council on Foreign Relations). An advocate for women's rights, LGBT rights and freedom of speech, Shafak is an inspiring public speaker and twice TED Global speaker, each time receiving a standing ovation. Shafak contributes to major publications around the world and she has been awarded the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. In 2017 she was chosen by Politico as one of the twelve people “who will give you a much needed lift of the heart”. Shafak has judged numerous literary prizes, and chaired the Wellcome Prize and is presently judging the Orwell Prize. www.elifshafak.com