The Ratline: On the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive

Philippe Sands

15/11/2020 7:00 pm
Kings Place, Online

In partnership with The London Library and Kings Place, Philippe Sands, award-winning author of the bestselling East West Street, discusses his remarkable new book, in conversation with Elif Shafak, streaming live from Kings Place.

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.

Tickets are now available to watch a live stream from home.


Philippe Sands

Philippe Sands QC is Professor of International Law at UCL and a practising barrister. His book, East West Street: On the Origins of Crimes Against Humanity, won the Baillie Gifford Prize.

Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak is an award-winning British-Turkish novelist. She writes in both Turkish and English, and has published 18 books, 11 of which are novels. Her work has been translated into 54 languages. Her latest novel 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and RSL Ondaatje 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. Shafak is a Fellow and a Vice President of the Royal Society of Literature. 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, LGBTQ+ rights and freedom of speech, Shafak is an inspiring public speaker and twice TED Global speaker. Shafak contributes to major publications around the world and she was awarded the medal of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. 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 PEN Nabokov Prize

In Partnership with The London Library and Kings Place