World War II Roundtable Presents the Ratline

Larry Linderman

The next presentation of the Roundtable will be on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 1 p.m. in the DesertView Theater.

As early as 1942-43 the Allies were discussing what to do with enemy combatants and bureaucrats who committed war crimes so heinous that the perpetrators should be held accountable when peace was restored. The U.S. and other allies made this intention clear to the enemy early on: that any violations of the Geneva Conventions would be dealt with severely. Knowing that justice would be meted out after the war, many higher officers, mostly Germans, surreptitiously made their way to countries friendly to them. They had plenty of help along the way, and the chain of abettors became known infamously as the ratline.

Our speaker will be Chris Wilson who gave us a terrific talk on the war in Russia last year. Chris has degrees in biology and forensic science. He teaches biology at Pima College and forensics at the University of Arizona Law School.

From the speaker: “‘Heroes, Ratlines, and War Crimes’ will focus on how some Nazi and Japanese leaders escaped justice (sometimes with the help of the United States) and how some got what they deserved. Sprinkled in the lecture will be some lesser-known heroes (so the talk is not completely negative) and what they did and what happened to them after. We will also talk about war crimes: What constitutes a crime during war? Who was put on trial after the allied victory? Did the Allies commit war crimes?”

You won’t want to miss this. Chris does a great job. A copy of the book The Ratline, by Philippe Sands, will be raffled at the end of the presentation

Once again, the Roundtable will be on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 1 p.m. in the DesertView Theater.

The Roundtable does not collect dues. We ask for a $1 donation at the door to cover lunch for the speaker at one of our restaurants and travel expenses if applicable.