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Wed, 21 Oct


Online Seminar

Philippe Sands in Conversation with Donna Lyons at Trinity College Dublin School of Law

New Book: 'The Ratline: Love, Lies and Justice on the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive'

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Philippe Sands in Conversation with Donna Lyons at Trinity College Dublin School of Law

Time & Location

21 Oct 2020, 17:00 – 18:00 IST

Online Seminar

About the event

Professor Philippe Sands QC at the School of Law, Trinity College Dublin - on his new book, ‘The Ratline: Love, Lies and Justice on the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive’

Date and time: 5pm - 6pm Dublin/London, Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Attendees can join the webinar directly via Zoom ( and the event will be simultaneously live-streamed on the Law School Facebook page ( event is free and open to all and there will be an opportunity for Q&A. You can register in advance to receive details and reminders but please note: the webinar can accommodate 100 attendees and participants will be admitted on a first come, first served basis. If the webinar fills to capacity, it will be possible to watch the Facebook Live Stream, and a recording will also be made available following the event. We look forward to seeing you there!

Philippe Sands, QC, is a barrister at Matrix Chambers and Professor of Laws and Director of the Centre on International Courts and Tribunals at University College London. He has appeared before many international courts, including the European Court of Justice; the International Court of Justice; the World Trade Organisation dispute settlement organs; the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea; the International Criminal Court; and the Special Court for Sierra Leone. His academic publications include Bowett’s Law of International Institutions (Sweet & Maxwell, 6th edition, 2009), From Nuremberg to The Hague (CUP, 2003), Principles of International Environmental Law (CUP, 3rd edition, 2012, with Jacqueline Peel), and the Manual of International Courts and Tribunals (2nd ed., 2010, OUP, co-editor). His other writings include East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes against Humanity (Alfred Knopf/Weidenfeld 2016), Torture Team: Uncovering War Crimes in the Land of the Free (Penguin/Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) and Lawless World (Penguin, 2005).

About 'The Ratline':

As Governor of Galicia, SS Brigadesführer 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 before making his way to Rome and being taken in 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 having lunch with an 'old comrade' whom he suspected of having been recruited by the Americans.

In The Ratline Philippe Sands offers a unique account of the daily life of a Nazi fugitive, the love between Wächter and his wife Charlotte, who continued to write regularly to each other while he was on the run, and a fascinating insight into life in Rome and among American and Soviet spies active at the start of the Cold War. Using modern medical expertise, the door is unlocked to a mystery that haunts Wächter’s youngest child, who believes his father was a good man - what was Wächter doing while in hiding, and what exactly caused his death?

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