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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke December 2, 2022

No, Rod Rosenstein and John Podesta are not the sons of high-profile Nazis

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  • Rod Rosenstein isn’t the son of Heinrich Himmler. John Podesta isn’t the son of Josef Mengele. 

A recent Instagram post comparing the physical similarities of two men purported to be infamous Nazis and two high-profile Americans posits two wild questions. 

The first: Is former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein the son of Heinrich Himmler, a military commander who became the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany? 

The second: Is John Podesta, former chairman for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and an adviser to President Joe Biden, the son of physician Josef Mengele, the "Angel of Death" who performed notorious experiments on Auschwitz prisoners?

No and no. 

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

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Rosenstein, who is Jewish, is the son of Robert Rosenstein, a small business owner, and Geraldine Stoloff Rosenstein, a bookkeeper. He was born to the couple in Philadelphia in January 1965 — 20 years after Himmler died. 

Podesta, who is Catholic, is the son of John Podesta Sr. and his wife Mary, the Chicago-born children of Italian and Greek immigrants, respectively. 

And for what it’s worth, the person in the Instagram post identified as Mengele is not Mengele.

We rate this post Pants on Fire!

Our Sources

Instagram post, Nov. 29, 2022

Britannica, Heinrich Himmler, visited Dec. 1, 2022

Britannica, Josef Mengele, visited Dec. 1, 2022

Department of Justice, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein Delivers Remarks to the Associated Alumni of Central High School Annual Dinner, June 5, 2018

Business Insider, Rosenstein calls the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting 'a stark reminder' that 'all Americans' need to be protected from hate crimes, Oct. 30, 2018

Maryland Manual, ROD J. ROSENSTEIN, visited Dec. 1, 2022 

Illinois General Assembly, SR0118 

Chicago, How the Podesta Brothers Rose From the 39th Ward to the White House, Dec. 19, 2013

PBS, John Podesta Extended Interview, Oct. 8, 2004


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No, Rod Rosenstein and John Podesta are not the sons of high-profile Nazis

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