Philippe Sands’s previous book, East West Street, was a superb synthesis of family history, the Holocaust in Poland, the Nuremberg prosecutions of World War 2 crimes, and the establishment of a post-war system of international justice.

Its follow-up, The Ratline (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), uses run-off research from East West Street to explore a different set of protagonists, the Wächter family, tracking the path of lawyer Otto Wächter from his involvement in Nazism’s rise in his native Austria during the 1930s, his ascendancy to SS-Gruppenführer, governorship of Kraków and then Galicia in occupied Poland, and his attempts to flee after Germany’s 1945 surrender...

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