Drugs in the Third Reich

Book - 2017
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"The Nazis presented themselves as warriors against moral degeneracy. Yet, as Norman Ohler's [book] reveals, the entire Third Reich was permeated with drugs: cocaine, heroin, morphine and, most of all, methamphetamine, or crystal meth, used by everyone from factory workers to housewives, and crucial to troops' resilience - even partly explaining German victory in 1940. The promiscuous use of drugs at the very highest levels also impaired and confused decision making, with Hitler and his entourage taking refuge in potentially lethal cocktails of stimulants administered by the physician Dr. Morell as the war turned against Germany. While drugs cannot on their own explain the events of the Second World War or its outcome, they change our understanding of it."--Book jacket.
Publisher: Boston, MA :, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,, [2017]
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781328663795
Branch Call Number: 940.5484 OHL
Characteristics: 292 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Whiteside, Shaun - Translator


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JCLKatyW Jul 17, 2017

This book has transformed how I think about World War II. Being a history major, I found it bizarre that I had never heard of the widespread usage of hard drugs in the third reich, but after listening to this book it makes a lot of sense out of situations that previously seemed odd. For instance, the ease at which the Nazis originally conquered countries like Poland and France has always been described as Blitzkrieg or all out war, but it was just always assumed that the Nazis must have just been better than other armies that had come before them. However the secret was that the Nazi advance was taking a little drug called pervitin which at the time was an anti-fatigue medication, although we know it today as a form of crystal meth. They stayed up for several days, while feeling mostly fatigue free, and were able to make huge territorial gains that were previously unthinkable thanks to taking the drug.

This book also illuminated the drug use of Hitler himself. Hitler regularly received "vitamin injections" from Doctor Morell. Hitler did not really want full medical physicals done on himself, so he found a doctor who would just inject him substances that would keep Hitler fresh and feeling well. The jokes on Hitler because his doctor unbeknownst him needed stronger drugs to keep Hitler feeling comfortable and happy, so he started introducing all kinds of animal hormones, eukodal (oxicodone), and cocaine. It makes some of the disastrous military situations understandable in the light that the one making all the decisions was most likely high. An important distinction that books makes is that Hitler was still an awful person without the drugs; the drugs just let him act out his master plan with no remorse and with no thought of the impact upon the German people. This was a fascinating book that I would recommend to anyone who wants to understand the war from a new perspective. Great audio book!

Jun 08, 2017

I am addicted to learning more about 'World War II', it is fascinating to myself. This book is terrific, although it is written in a different manner. Terrific read if your interested in Nazi-Germany, Hitler, and the German war machine.

May 23, 2017

VERY fascinating book! Gained greater insight and understanding from reading it. Highly recommend it.

Apr 27, 2017

BLITZED is not only an eye-opener but a page-turner. The author extensively researched and documented his work and the English translation by Shaun Whiteside is very readable. Every student of World War II should read this book.

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