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The Ratline - Philippe Sands

The Ratline - Philippe Sands

Title: The Ratline

Author:  Philippe Sands

ISBN:  9781474608121

Weight:  990g

Delivery:  Extra £1.00 [weight and/or insurance]

Signed first edition, first printing



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The Ratline: Love, Lies and Justice on the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive by Philippe Sands

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?

Peer & Press Reviews

The forensic stamina and precision that garnered such praise for Sands’ 2016 work East West Street are equally in evidence here.  The Ratline is not only about events in the past, but their dangerous legacy in the world today.  A formidable piece of historical sleuthing written with all the pace and suspense of a thriller, it is a timely reminder that crimes against humanity don’t occur only at the level of states and governments.  They take place also in the more secret and less fathomable depths of people’s hearts and minds.

Rebecca Abrams, Financial Times

A gripping adventure, an astounding journey of discovery and a terrifying and timely portrait of evil in all its complexity, banality, self-justification and madness.  A stunning achievement.

Stephen Fry

A book of twists and intrigues as complex as any le Carré thriller… like its predecessor, [it] is replete with vivid descriptions and Sands brings to it the same relentless narrative momentum.

Literary Review

Bibliographic Info

Attribute Details
Title The Ratline
Subtitle Love, Lies and Justice on the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive
Book Features
Edition / printing First edition, first printing
Edition features

The main body of the book is 317 pages, which includes many  grayscale images and maps.

The front matter has an additional 16 pages:

Contents [3]
Notes to the Reader [1]
Principal Characters [4]
Prologue [7]
Map 1: Austro-Hungarian Empire, 1901 [1]

The back matter has a further 93 pages:

Epilogue [15]
Acknowledgements [5]
Sources [4]
Notes [46]
Illustration and Map Credits [3]
Index [20]

Overall condition Fine / Fine (see our article on Condition Grades)

On a signature page, tipped-in before the half title page.

(Printed on this page is the title, the subtitle, the author’s name, the name of the imprint, and the month / year of publication.)

Book Stats
Publisher Orion Publishing Group
Imprint Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Publication date
Printed by Clays Ltd, Elcograf S.p.A.
ISBN 13 9781474608121
ISBN 10 1474608124
Format Hardcover with dust jacket
Pages 317 [main body]
Size (h x w x d) 242 x 165 x 40mm
Packed weight 1.043kg [heavy book]
Image and Design Credits
Author photograph Antonio Zazueta Olmos
Jacket photograph Horst Wächter

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