The Ratlines: How the Nazis Escaped Europe with Dr. Finn Ballard

The Ratlines: How the Nazis Escaped Europe with Dr. Finn Ballard


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Join a historian as we focus on the means by which German (and other) perpetrators of World War Two-era crimes against humanity escaped Europe as of 1945.

By the summer of 1945, Hitler and two of his most powerful men, Himmler and Goebbels, had died by their own hands. Another collection of degenerates would face justice at the Nuremberg Trials and subsequent legal proceedings. Still, others would simply melt back into German society - some even retaining the bureaucratic jobs they had held during the Third Reich. And what about the rest?

In this seminar, we will examine the so-called 'ratlines' - the routes taken by Nazi perpetrators out of Europe, to new lives in South America, Egypt, and beyond. We will focus on Adolf Eichmann, a bureaucrat with blood on his hands: his flight to Argentina, capture by the Mossad, trial, and execution in Israel. We will discuss the relationship of the Red Cross and the Vatican to the ratline scheme, and the tales of Klaus Barbie, Josef Mengele, and more. We will learn of the astonishing courage and tenacity of Simon Wiesenthal and his fellow Nazi-hunters Serge and Beate Klarsfeld. And we will look, too, at the Nazis who found their new homes in the USA.

Led by an expert on twentieth-century German history, Dr. Finn Ballard, this interactive seminar will illuminate the astonishing tale of the Nazis who got away with it: and those who didn't. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a new understanding of one of the lesser-told stories of the Third Reich.

Finn grew up in Northern Ireland before moving to England to study and later teach in the department of Film and Literature at the University of Warwick. He completed his doctoral study on German folklore and popular cinema in 2012, and has published extensively in the fields of Film Studies and Gender Studies. Since 2008, he has been living and guiding in Berlin. He now works as a historical advisor for television and film productions set in Berlin, particularly during the Weimar era or Third Reich. He is a journalist for the 'Siegessauele', Europe's foremost Queer magazine, and organises events at Berlin's English-language bookstore 'Another Country'.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 21 reviews
86%
(18)
10%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
5%
(1)
T
Tara Gurber (Chicago, US)
Outstanding Presentation

This presentation was outstanding. So informative and interesting. I want to take more courses with Dr Ballard .

J
Julie Goldman (San Francisco, US)
The ratline with Dr Finn Ballard

Fascinating, disturbing and expertly examined by Dr Ballard. There was a lot of information to cover and it was precisely done

D
Dori (St. Catharines, CA)
Excellent!

Very shocking but excellent presentation! I learned so much! The depth of his knowledge is amazing, and he communicates this very well. Highly recommended.

N
Nancy (Winter Park, US)
(Another) Wonderful presentation from Finn

This was a fascinating presentation , full of new information, for me, which meshed well with other “Finn Seminars” I have attended. His descriptions of Nazi bad guys, their horrible activities and their collaborators is vivid and compelling.

H
Holly DeGrand (Pittsburgh, US)

Guest did not leave comment

Customer Reviews

Based on 21 reviews
86%
(18)
10%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
5%
(1)
T
Tara Gurber (Chicago, US)
Outstanding Presentation

This presentation was outstanding. So informative and interesting. I want to take more courses with Dr Ballard .

J
Julie Goldman (San Francisco, US)
The ratline with Dr Finn Ballard

Fascinating, disturbing and expertly examined by Dr Ballard. There was a lot of information to cover and it was precisely done

D
Dori (St. Catharines, CA)
Excellent!

Very shocking but excellent presentation! I learned so much! The depth of his knowledge is amazing, and he communicates this very well. Highly recommended.

N
Nancy (Winter Park, US)
(Another) Wonderful presentation from Finn

This was a fascinating presentation , full of new information, for me, which meshed well with other “Finn Seminars” I have attended. His descriptions of Nazi bad guys, their horrible activities and their collaborators is vivid and compelling.

H
Holly DeGrand (Pittsburgh, US)

Guest did not leave comment