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Patricia Posner

The Untold Story of Victor Capesius

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’s reign of terror at the camp, his escape from justice, fueled in part by his theft of gold ripped from the mouths of corpses, and how a handful of courageous survivors and a single brave prosecutor finally brought him to trial for murder twenty 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, I.G. Farben, and its Bayer pharmaceutical subsidiary. The story is one of murder and greed with its roots in the dark heart of the Holocaust. It is told through Nazi henchmen and industrialists turned war criminals, intelligence agents and zealous prosecutors, and intrepid concentration camp survivors and Nazi hunters.

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. The Pharmacist of Auschwitz is a moving saga that lingers long after the final page.

Patricia Posner is a British-born writer who has collaborated with her husband, the author Gerald Posner, on twelve non-fiction books, including Mengele: The Complete Story – a biography of Dr. Josef Mengele; Hitler’s Children – a 1991 collection of interviews with the children of Nazi perpetrators; and most recently, God’s Bankers – a financial history of the Roman Catholic Church. Her work has appeared, among other places, in the Miami Herald, The Daily Beast and Salon. She lives in Miami Beach.

Available Rights

Language Territory Type Agency Client
German World Book Nicole Meillaud
Mohrbooks AG
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15. November 2016, review
Pursuing newly opened legal archives to expose the case of a Romanian-born German pharmacist who was key in dispensing Zyklon B poison gas and attending to the selection process at Auschwitz. ... A gruesome story eloquently told.


27. January 2017, quote
Brazil: Globo Editora ; China: Grand China Publishing House ; Czech: Albatros ; Holland:Omniboek/VBK Media ; Italy: Newton Compton ; Poland: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellonskiego ; Portugal: Alma Dos Livros ; Slovak: Ikar ; Spanish:Planeta


27. January 2017, quote
THE PHARMACIST OF AUSCHWITZ is an Amazon Bestseller and listed on Amazon's Hot New Releases.


27. January 2017, review
Posner's book doubles as the spellbinding story of Nazi Germany's largest industrial conglomerate, I.G. Farben . . . [and] in one important way, her book is a celebration of a rare kind of heroism. Its compelling side story offers an in-depth profile of N

Dallas Morning News

27. January 2017, review
Posner avoids sensationalism and gives us a harrowing and important read.

Jewish Renaissance

27. January 2017, quote
Shocking. Revelatory. Compelling. A truly authentic and riveting read. A milestone in WWII and Holocaust history.

Damien Lewis, author: The Nazi Hunters

27. January 2017, quote
A harrowing, beautifully written and extremely well-researched account of a little-known aspect of the Holocaust. Patricia Posner's fine prose style grips from page one, and the horror will stay with you long after you finish the book.

Andrew Roberts, author: The Storm of War

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