Antisemitism Watch is a passion project for Patricia Posner and Gerald Posner, husband and wife journalists who have long had an intense interest in the Holocaust and antisemitism. In this 5-minute video they talk about how a 1985 encounter with the only son of the Nazi Angel of Death, SS Dr. Josef Mengele, led to two of their Holocaust projects.
Patricia created and runs the No.Antisemitism Facebook page since 2016. It provides a comprehensive daily listing of antisemitism incidents around the globe and also marks historical anniversaries related to the Holocaust. She is also the a co-administrator, with Steve Bubba Cohen, of the FB page, Jews of South Florida. Her 2017 book, The Pharmacist of Auschwitz was the first ever biography of the SS officer who served as the chief druggist at Auschwitz and tells how a single camp survivor and Germany’s first postwar Jewish judge brought him to justice 20 years after the end of World War II.
Patricia grew up in London where she was the victim of repeated anti-Jewish bullying. In a 2017 blog post, “No More Nice Jewish Girl,” she recalled, “I vividly remember the taunts, ‘All Jews have big noses,’ ‘Why don’t you go back to where you come from?’ ‘Dirty Jew!’ My family moved a lot. I went to a dozen schools by the time I was 16. Although the schools, teachers and students were different, the hatred never changed. At every one, I found a swastika carved into my desk or scrawled by pen on my satchel. On one occasion, my head was put down a toilet.”
Patricia remembers what happened when she was only twelve years old: “After a particularly bad bout of taunts about Jews, a teacher pulled me aside. She was the only Jewish teacher. Incredibly, she had shown no sympathy for my plight, never once intervening to stop the bullying. On this occasion, she simply said, ‘Levene, don’t make a fuss. Be a nice Jewish girl.’
“It seems open season again on Jews,” says Patricia. “And I, for one, will not stand by silently. I will not be a victim. This time, I will be in the front line resisting. This Jewish girl will try her best to fight antisemitism however possible.”
Gerald developed a childhood interest in the Holocaust from his Jewish father. In 1981, while practicing law in New York, Gerald agreed to a pro bono representation for Marc Berkowitz, a surviving twin of Dr. Josef Mengele’s concentration camp experiments. The goal was to get additional compensation for the physical ailments the surviving twins suffered as a result of the Nazi experiments. That lawsuit was unsuccessful but Gerald turned it into a 1986 biography, Mengele.
In 1991 Random House published Gerald’s Hitler’s Children: Sons and Daughters of Leaders of the Third Reich Talk About Themselves and Their Fathers, a collection of a dozen in-depth interviews with the second generation of the perpetrators. That November Gerald wrote a New York Times OpEd titled, “The Bormann File.” It called on Argentina to release the Nazi files Gerald had seen years earlier in their Federal police archives.
In 1994, Gerald wrote “Another Legacy of the Holocaust ” for The New Yorker about the shameful effort of the Topf family – builders of the death camp crematorium – to get restitution from the German government.
The following year, Gerald and Patricia traveled to Berlin to report about the pending handover of the Berlin Document Center from American custody to the Germans. The result of that investigation was “Secrets of the Files,” in The New Yorker.
In 1998 Gerald and Patricia wrote a piece for The New York Times Magazine about how they overcame their personal vow to “never buy anything German’ to finally purchase a VW Beetle. ( “Lives; VW Day”)
In 2000, during the middle of the Deborah Lipstadt libel trial, Gerald and Patricia got the only interview with David Irving. It helped tilt the British public opinion firmly against his revisionist history cloaked in the pseudo-aura of academic research. (“The World According to David Irving,” The Sunday Observer (UK), March 19, 2000).
In 2009, Gerald then wrote for The Daily Beast about Mengele (“The Nazi Twin Myth” and “The Man Who Let Mengele Get Away”)
God’s Bankers: A History of Money and Power, was Gerald’s 2015 New York Times bestseller. In covering the history of the finances of the Vatican, Gerald conclusively established that the Vatican Bank —created in the middle of World War II —- had made outsized profits from secret stakes in German and Italian insurance companies that escheated the life insurance policies of Jews sent to the death camps.
Following the publication of God’s Bankers, Gerald put public pressure on the Vatican to open its ‘secret World War II archives’ with OpEds in the Los Angeles Times (“It’s High Time For Pope Francis To Open The Vatican Bank Files“) The Washington Post (“Open The Vatican’s Holocaust-Era Archives“), and The New York Times “How the Vatican Can Shed Light on the Holocaust“).