Drugs in Nazi Germany

Book - 2016
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GUARDIAN BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2016 'The most brilliant and fascinating book I have read in my entire life' Dan Snow 'Blitzed is making me rethink everything I've ever seen and read about WWII... terrific!' Douglas Coupland 'A huge contribution... remarkable' Antony Beevor, BBC RADIO 4 'Extremely interesting ... a serious piece of scholarship, very well researched' Ian Kershaw The sensational German bestseller on the overwhelming role of drug-taking in the Third Reich, from Hitler to housewives. The Nazis presented themselves as warriors against moral degeneracy. Yet, as Norman Ohler's gripping bestseller reveals, the entire Third Reich was permeated with drugs: cocaine, heroin, morphine and, most of all, methamphetamines, 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, Ohler shows, they change our understanding of it. Blitzed forms a crucial missing piece of the story.
Publisher: London :, Allen Lane,, 2016, ©2016.
ISBN: 9780241256992
Branch Call Number: 362. 29094309044 OHL
Characteristics: 360 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Whiteside, Shaun - Translator


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Aug 06, 2017

Who would have thought that a contributor to one of the most horrific times in German and European history, was drugs and hormones? The ready availability of meth to Germans at the time really surprised me. I couldn't believe that meth and cocaine were recommended for the German military so that they would behave more like robots than people. While reading about this drug-fueled, unrelenting warfare, I couldn't help but wonder about some of the same advantages that drones give militaries today...

Of course Hitler's use of drugs and hormones was one of the most curious aspects of the book. I won't dive into details, but there were parts that made me feel physically ill when I read about them. Ohler still holds Hitler responsible for his actions throughout. Although Hitler may have been addicted to hard drugs in his final years, and they may have helped him perform, all of his divisive, cruel and bigoted beliefs were present long before he began his assault.

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