‘The Last Post’ writer adapting Auschwitz series ‘The Escape Artist’

BAFTA-winning British writer Peter Moffat is working on a new World War II drama.

Best known as the creator of The Last Post, The Village, Silk, and Criminal Justice, he’s also previously penned episodes of Kavanagh QC and Cambridge Spies.

Moffat’s next project is a TV adaptation of UK journalist Jonathan Freedland’s book The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World.

Published last year, it tells the amazing true-life story of how Rudolf Vrba, a 19-year-old Slovakian Jew, escaped from Auschwitz to warn the world about the Holocaust, along with fellow inmate Fred Wetzler.

The pair’s report resulted in 200,000 Budapest Jews being saved from immediate deportation to Auschwitz.

The Escape Artist will be made by Bonafide, the UK production company behind Moffat’s BBC series The Last Post.

Starring original Call the Midwife actress Jessica Raine‎, The Last Post was well-received when it aired on BBC One in 2017, but the 1960s-set military drama never got a second season.

“Jonathan Freedland’s conclusion that Rudolf Vrba deserves to ‘stand alongside Anne Frank, Oskar Schindler and Primo Levi in the first rank of stories that define the Shoah’ is hard to argue with,” said writer Peter Moffat.

“It’s a great privilege to be asked to adapt this profoundly moving work,” he added.

The Escape Artist doesn’t yet have a broadcaster lined up, but it’s expected to premiere in 2024.

The official synopsis for Freedman’s book reads: “In April 1944, Rudolf Vrba became one of the very first Jews to escape from Auschwitz and make his way to freedom—among only a tiny handful who ever pulled off that near-impossible feat. He did it to reveal the truth of the death camp to the world—and to warn the last Jews of Europe what fate awaited them.

“Against all odds, Vrba and his fellow escapee, Fred Wetzler, climbed mountains, crossed rivers, and narrowly missed German bullets until they had smuggled out the first full account of Auschwitz the world had ever seen—a forensically detailed report that eventually reached Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and the Pope.

“And yet too few heeded the warning that Vrba had risked everything to deliver. Though Vrba helped save two hundred thousand Jewish lives, he never stopped believing it could have been so many more.”

Jonathan Freedland’s book The Escape Artist is available on Amazon.