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Hitler’s First Victims and One Man’s Race for Justice

Friday 27 March 2015

1 Hour


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Historian and writer Timothy Ryback tells the story of German deputy prosecutor Josef Hartinger and his fight for justice for the first victims of the Nazi regime. Hartinger was summoned to the newly established Dachau in 1933, shortly after Hitler became Chancellor, where four Jewish prisoners had been shot ‘trying to escape’. The circumstances convinced Hartinger something was horribly wrong as did the repeated calls back to Dachau in the weeks that followed. Ryback portrays a man willing to sacrifice everything in his pursuit of justice. Ultimately, however, it is a story of how the Nazis were able to take over the justice system, making the Holocaust possible.

Ryback is a former lecturer in history and literature, now deputy secretary general of the Académie Diplomatiqe Internationale in Paris. He is co-founder of the Institute of Historical Justice and Reconciliation in The Hague and writer of several books including Hitler’s Private Library: The Books that Shaped his Life and The Last Survivor: Legacies of Dachau.