Blitzed

Blitzed

Drugs in the Third Reich

Book - 2017
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"The Nazi regime preached an ideology of physical, mental, and moral purity. But as Norman Ohler reveals in this gripping new history, the Third Reich was saturated with drugs. On the eve of World War II, Germany was a pharmaceutical powerhouse, and companies such as Merck and Bayer cooked up cocaine, opiates, and, most of all, methamphetamines, to be consumed by everyone from factory workers to housewives to millions of German soldiers. In fact, troops regularly took rations of a form of crystal meth--the elevated energy and feelings of invincibility associated with the high even help to explain certain German military victories. Drugs seeped all the way up to the Nazi high command and, especially, to Hitler himself. Over the course of the war, Hitler became increasingly dependent on injections of a cocktail of drugs--including a form of heroin--administered by his personal doctor. While drugs alone cannot explain the Nazis' toxic racial theories or the events of World War II, Ohler's investigation makes an overwhelming case that, if drugs are not taken into account, our understanding of the Third Reich is fundamentally incomplete"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 1328663795 (hardcover)
9781328663795 (hardcover)
Branch Call Number: 362.299509 OHL
Characteristics: 292 pages : illustrations ; 24 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!

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ferm_dawg
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.

k
kathygilman
May 23, 2017

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

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