The Pharmacist of Auschwitz

The Untold Story
Narrated by: Julian Elfer
Length: 6 hrs and 33 mins
Categories: History, 20th Century
4.5 out of 5 stars (107 ratings)

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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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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

8 people found this helpful

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A pharmacist in Auschwitz

I had never heard a story like this about the death camps. I think of it as a way to arm myself about how such things could come to fruition but honestly, My mind is unable to grasp how horrible these places were. Pure evil is what this was. I find myself (born in America) wanting you seek out Jewish people and apologize for how they have been treated. I highly recommend this book and the narrator is superb as well.

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Audible Censors My Opinion

How interesting it is that I have tried to review this book twice, and both times they erased my review? The book is poorly written and lacks facts, but what's new?

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B-

Struggled to finish. Not what I was expecting having just read 'The Tattooist of Auswitz' which was excellent...

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Not Focused on One Perpetrator as Title Implies

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

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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.

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The Auschwitz wrist tattoo

Non-fiction of the man that gave the tattoo on the wrists of Auschwitz arrivals ✋
Angled from a different perspective this book is focused on a tiny task within the massive Nazi wheel. By this function he exerted minute power to save a few.
There are background activities to put the detail of the story in understanding context without knowing anything about WWII.
Other than most Auschwitz bios that focus on suffering, destruction and devastation, this book drills into the experiences of how a history tragedy affected the soul of an intelligent logic man.
Best of all 😊😊 I read this book thru the night and earned a new badge!

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A must read

The author reminds us that many ordinary people were involved in carrying out the Final Solution. Additionally the author ties together the role of IG Farben, a German chemical and pharmaceutical conglomerate, and their direct involvement. From a listener's perspective, the narrator, Julian Elfer, is easily to listen to.

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  • m
  • 05-09-18

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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-30-18

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • H.A.B.
  • 07-05-18

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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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephen Timms
  • 04-05-18

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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  • Gary L
  • 02-26-19

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
  • 02-14-19

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
  • 12-10-18

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
  • 12-03-18

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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  • Mike
  • 12-02-18

How terrible. How unforgivable.

A harrowing story well read. How terrible people can be, even when no compulsion to be so.
Well worth reading so that we remember. Never forget.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Graham Bennett
  • 12-16-18

The pharmacist of Auschwitz

I found this book very interesting giving me a good acount of the problems in war

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  • Clare
  • 08-31-17

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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  • John G
  • 01-23-19

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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  • Jodie Blampied
  • 11-15-18

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!