The Ratline: A Nazi War Criminal on the Run, Family Love, and a Curious Death in the Vatican

From the author of the internationally acclaimed, award-winning East West Street: A tale of Nazis, spies, love, cold war espionage, a mysterious death in the Vatican--and "the Ratline," the Nazi escape route to Peron's Argentina. Baron Otto Von Wachter, high Nazi official, Austrian lawyer, husband, father, Nazi politician, high-ranking member of the SS, formerly 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 140,000 Poles, hunted by the Soviets, the Americans, the British, by Simon Wiesenthal, on the run for four years, from 1945-1949 . . .Philippe Sands pieces together, in riveting detail, Wachter's flight--to the Tirol, to Rome, to the Vatican, given a new name, a new identity, on his way to a new life via 'the ratline' to Peron's Argentina, the escape route forged by the Vatican, supported by the International Red Cross, and taken by Eichmann, Mengele and thousands of other Nazis. Sands writes of how Wachter's escape was cut short by his mysterious, shocking death inside the Vatican (in the midst of the burgeoning Cold War, was he being recruited by the Americans and the US Counter Intelligence Corp or by the Soviet NKVD or by both in post-war Italy; was he assassinated/poisoned by one side or the other--or by both ?) . . .An extraordinary discovery, told up-close through access to a trove of family correspondence between Wachter and his wife--part historical detective story, part love story, part Cold War espionage thriller.

Author 1: 
Phillippe Sands
Publisher: 
Knopf
Pub Date: 
Monday, February 1, 2021 - 16:00
Next Generation: 
Yes
Other Rank: 
59
Rank Categoruy: 
Biographies & Memoirs of Criminals

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