Since its launch in 2018, James Holland and Al Murray’s WW2 podcast We Have Ways of Making You Talk has gained a considerable following; listeners look forward to their twice-weekly installments, their rambling natter about a variety of wartime topics, and the nuggets of factual gold the two chatty hosts bring up when answering sent-in questions.
They have, in addition, had many fascinating conversations with historians and even some veterans – recent highlights include a discussion of Britain’s wartime economy with historian Daniel Todman and the vivid recollections of veteran Mosquito pilot Colin Bell – and some recent episodes have had particular relevance to the Holocaust.
Philippe Sands and The Ratline
Broadcaster and human rights lawyer Philippe Sands joined Al and James to talk about the story behind his new book The Ratline, which traces the story of high-ranking Nazi Otto Wächter, governor of the occupied region of Galicia, territory now divided between Poland and Ukraine. At the end of the war, Wächter went into hiding and died in mysterious circumstances in the Vatican. Sands tells the story of how he came to know Wächter’s now-elderly son Horst, and touches on the complex nature complicity and radicalisation in the Nazi era. This two-part podcast is riveting listening.
Guy Walters and Hunting Evil
Guy Walters has become renowned as an expert on Nazi Germany in print and on television, and in this two-part conversation, he talks to Al and James about his book Hunting Evil, in which he traces the often dismal history of efforts of bring Nazi war-criminals to justice in the decades after the Second World War. Among other things, he discusses the over-inflation of Simon Wiesenthal’s role in tracking down Nazis such as Adolf Eichmann, and the occasion when Walters himself tracked down a former Nazi concentration camp guard and confronted her at her home in Austria.
Dr Alexandra Richie, the historian and author of the book Warsaw 1944 on the Warsaw Uprising, has appeared on We Have Ways before, discussing the remarkable life of her father-in-law Władysław Bartoszewski. Recently, she returned to talk about aspects of the fighting on the Eastern Front, which ranged across Poland and the territories of the Soviet Union. The conversation is particularly interesting for the discussion of what is still not know about the fates of members of the Soviet military captured by the German army. Some three million Soviet POWs died, and the sites of their imprisonment and death are scattered across Eastern Europe, often unmarked and dimly remembered.
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The header image is an aerial view of part of the city of Lviv, which was under the jurisdiction of Otto Wächter during the Nazi occupation, and which was the home of members of Philippe Sands’ family before WW2. Image by enelene from Pixabay.
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