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Publisher's Summary

The Pharmacist of Auschwitz is the little-known story of Victor Capesius, a Bayer pharmaceutical salesman from Romania, who, at the age of 35, joined the Nazi SS in 1943 and quickly became the chief pharmacist at the largest death camp, Auschwitz. Based in part on previously classified documents, Patricia Posner exposes Capesius' reign of terror at the camp, his escape from justice, and how a handful of courageous survivors and a single brave prosecutor finally brought him to trial for murder 20 years after the end of the war.

The Pharmacist of Auschwitz is much more, though, than a personal account of Capesius. It provides a spellbinding glimpse inside the devil's pact made between the Nazis and Germany's largest conglomerate, IG Farben, and its Bayer pharmaceutical subsidiary. The story is one of murder and greed, with its roots in the dark heart of the Holocaust.

Set against a backdrop ranging from Hitler's war to conquer Europe to the Final Solution, to postwar Germany's tormented efforts to confront its dark past, Posner shows the appalling depths to which ordinary men descend when they are unrestrained by conscience or any sense of morality.

Contains mature themes.

©2017 Patricia Posner (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A gruesome story eloquently told." ( Kirkus)

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What listeners say about The Pharmacist of Auschwitz

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boring

this book was SO boring I couldn't finish it and I struggled on waiting for it to get interesting. it was just a whole lot of names and dates and dates and names and never got off the ground. it talked about terrible things that happened but never said what they were or who or why, I was very dissapointed with this purchase!

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Sad story, amazing book

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The subject matter is quite unpleasant and sad but an important part of history.

Would recommend this book to history nerds that like investigating a little deeper. The parts of the book that deal with the trials and legal proceedings are especially interesting.

1 person found this helpful

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Lest we forget

We all need to read books like this one lest we forget the horror that mankind can inflict on the innocent under the pretence of might is right. We need to remember the things people will do through greed and power, to those that can not defend themselves is called tyranny and needs to be stopped before it starts. The horror of the Holocaust is unimaginable, what those poor people went through we will never truly know, but records like this need to be made mandatory reading in our schools, lest we forget as the true horror will be lost to time forever if we do not.

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  • Cassandra
  • 25-01-2018

Gripping!

Fascinating listen. I have listened at least twice. This man is as much a monster as the trial jurors thought and more. Worth the Credit

3 people found this helpful

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  • Simone
  • 11-05-2019

Fascinating

Over and above the compelling yet terrible story about the pharmacist, I was captivated by the particulars of how things were run the camps, the details of the subsequent the trials and the behaviour of the defendants etc The book was gripping, well written, never got dry for me and was easy to read despite the difficult subject matter.

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  • Momof3inSLC
  • 03-08-2020

Really good

Written well enough to give you the graphic facts without making you too uncomfortable. It is upsetting and it should be.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Polar Bear
  • 31-07-2019

Not Focused on One Perpetrator as Title Implies

Adds to one's knowledge of what postwar Germany was willing to do about Holocaust perpetrators.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-02-2019

poor pronunciation

The story is good the pronunciation of Eastern European towns and names it's appalling and so far off. maybe consider this next time.

1 person found this helpful

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  • LisalouRN
  • 26-08-2017

I respect every victim of the Holocaust to....

Narrator I believe was SPOT on. This is about my 20th book on the topic. I am a critical care nurse of 27 years, It takes a lot to offend my sensibilities. this book 1/3 through did it. There were certain things involving children I just did NOT need to hear. And while it is important to keep most of these stories alive through generations, certain horrid details need to be never spoken of. The mad man at the helm of this hell would be sickening proud to know some of the stories are still being told. a shame really. gave it 3 attempts.

It would behoove this author to consider such sensitive things involving ......cant even saying it. just leave babies and kids out of it

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  • Ashley V. Eckhardt
  • 15-10-2020

Excruciatingly painful truths...

The book was clearly well researched and fact checked and very intriguing to listen to and try to process the unthinkable acts of evil performed by the doctor and the Nazi's in general. Heartbreaking but a great book.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-08-2020

Excellent

The reader was outstanding. The best I’ve ever heard. The writing was masterful. Great storytelling of such an awful subject.

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  • Alwyn B
  • 22-08-2020

Excellent book on yet another Holocaust story.

Capesius is not as well known as some of the other Auschwitz criminals. The audiobook enlightened me. Julian Elfer is an excellent narrator.

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  • Tamika Waller
  • 05-05-2020

fascinating

at points it was a little difficult to keep track of the details but it was very well written- a balanced mix of documentation and storytelling. I will go back and listen to it again in a few weeks!

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  • m
  • 09-05-2018

Shocking

Detailed account of the horrors of this infamous Nazi death factory. Chilling and factual. Adds a layer of detail to what is commonly known. Shines a spotlight on this depraved and opportunistic coward of a man who squirms and ultimately gets away with genocide.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-03-2018

The Pharmacist of Auschwitz.

A very good book, I listened too it in one night and found it well researched.

2 people found this helpful

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  • H.A.B.
  • 05-07-2018

Fascinating- and a lot of NEW INSIGHT!!!

All who read about the Third Reich - the uprise, the years of horror which followed - will have read about the concentration camps BUT this book is different to what you expect... It is not simply a portraitier account about the pharmacist of Auschwitz - no, it gives a lot more - the role of the large pharmaceutical firm IG Farben and so many others .... Would I recommend this book: YES

1 person found this helpful

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  • Stephen Timms
  • 05-04-2018

Towser T

I found this book fascinating and well researched. Some of the pronunciations in both English and German distracted - especially that of “Mengele”. However, it adds to the narrative of the holocaust and can thus be recommended.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Adrian Chan-Wyles Ph.D
  • 23-10-2020

Important History

This is a vital historical narrative that records one aspect of Nazi German atrocities carried out at the Auschwitz during WWII. Victor Capesius managed to evade capture as Nszi Germany collapse, and then he managed to evade the detection of his crimes long enough to escape any substantive Justice as West Germany changed its laws in accordance with an anti-Soviet US foreign policy. Ironically, although US anti-intellectualism dominated Europe after 1945 - Victor Capesius was tried in his native Romania (in absentia) in 1945 and Sentenced to Death for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. This verdict was ignored at the time in Western Europe. The author peddles an anti-Soviet narrative throughout and makes the incorrect statement that Joseph Stalin suggested the Nazi Leadership be immediately shot whilst a shocked Western Judiciary supposedly insisted on a proper trial. In fact, it was Winston Churchill (the admirer of Hitler) who suggested that Leading Nazis be shot without trial to save time - whilst it was Joseph Stalin who pointed out that international law decreed that a trial was needed for each suspect. As matters transpired, Victor Capesius died in his old age in 1985. The author omits that In 1975, the UN - after an investigation - ruled that Zionism is also a form of White Supremacy used to oppress and persecute the non-White occupants of Palestine. This is why this story should remind us that fascism can arise anywhere and that the decent people of the world should remain forever vigulent in their protection of freedom!

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  • Kayleigh
  • 08-07-2020

informational and interesting

Some very disturbing information, but this story should be told as it is for people to get the best understanding to the evil these people did! the performance of the book is good with a likeable voice in my opinion! good purchase

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  • Gary L
  • 26-02-2019

a really good well researched book

I really enjoyed this insight in to the of a little known SS doctor/pharmacist who was responsible for numerous deaths through selections at the train stations for incoming Jews as well as transporting the poison to the gas Chambers. i felt the some of the chapters were a little too political but it was needed to keep the context it is non fiction after all

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  • Matthew
  • 14-02-2019

Fascinating story well narrated.

An insight into the life of a Nazi working in a concentration camp. You know all this happened but you still struggle to understand.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-12-2018

A must read

Harrowing but a must read .voice over was easy on the ears . Brought tears to my eyes.

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  • sean boyle
  • 03-12-2018

a books that tells so much more

Log of info that I didn’t know .fantastic book .a must read !!! Tell so much more based on the criminals of that era

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