19 April 2012

Ratlines

For this year's A-Z challenge, I'm posting juicy tidbits of researchy goodness for your interest and edification. I intend to use these as story prompts for the terrifying writing challenge Story a Day in May. You may use them however you wish.

At the end of World War II, when it became clear that the Nazi war machine was going down in a big flash of crazy, certain members of the German elite decided it was time to get out of Dodge. They went via ratlines (Rattenlinien).

Named after the rope-ladder-like rigging sailors use to climb on sailing ships, the ratlines were organized networks that allowed war criminals safe passage, mostly to South America. Documentaries, novels and films (The Odessa File, Boys from Brazil) have dealt with the theme of the escape of war criminals after WWII. I find the notion of ratlines fascinating because of what they suggest about the sheer endurance of evil.

 

2 comments:

Jocelyn Rish said...

I can see some awesome stories being spawned from this particular piece of research.

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

If you have any interest in Hitler and Nazi Germany, you have got to read Morning of the Magicians by Louis Pauwels and Jaques Bergier. Some incredible testimony not treated by the mainstream then or now.

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