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Jonathan Freedland talks to Sarfraz Manzoor

The Escape Artist

Hay Festival 2022, 

In April 1944 the teenager Rudolf Vrba planned a daring escape from Auschwitz. After hiding in a pile of wooden planks for three days while 3,000 SS men and their bloodhounds searched for him, Vrba and fellow escapee Fred Wetzler eventually crossed Nazi-occupied Poland on foot. He produced from memory a 30-page report revealing the scale of Auschwitz, which reached Roosevelt, Churchill and the Pope, and saved 200,000 Jews. This is the story of a complex man who would seek escape again and again – first from Auschwitz, then from his past, even from his own name. Journalist and broadcaster Freedland is author of the Sam Bourne novels.

Jonathan Freedland talks to Sarfraz Manzoor