Blitzed Drugs in the Third Reich

Norman Ohler

Book - 2017

"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 c...rystal 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.

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2nd Floor 943.086/Ohler Due Aug 18, 2022
Subjects
Published
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2017.
Edition
First U.S. edition
Language
English
German
Item Description
Translated from the German.
Physical Description
292 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9781328663795
1328663795
Main Author
Norman Ohler (author)
Other Authors
Shaun Whiteside (translator)
  • Methamphetamine, the Volksdroge (1933/1938)
  • Sieg high! (1939/1941)
  • High Hitler: Patient A and his personal physician (1941/1944)
  • The wonder drug (1944/1945)
  • Acknowledgments.
Review by Library Journal Reviews

Not sensationalism but a serious study researched over five years, this work argues that during World War II German pharmaceuticals fed the populace cocaine, opiates, and especially methamphetamines, which kept soldiers moving briskly during blitzkrieg campaigns. With a 50,000-copy first printing; rights to 14 countries.. Copyright 2016 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

There is no shortage of books explaining the rise and reign of the Third Reich in mid-20th-century Germany. Economic devastation, revitalized xenophobia, and cult-like nationalism are most often cited as the primary contributing factors. Do these tell the whole story? Journalist Ohler suggests an additional element that aided German troops, government officials, and even Adolf Hitler himself—drugs. The author tells the story of Nazi-era drug use from both the perspective of members of the military and Hitler himself. Government sanctioned and distributed medication, primarily a German-developed drug called Pervitin (a form of methamphetamine), sustained the German war machine. Hitler's personal physician during the war years, Theodor Morell, is given extensive coverage. Although Morell is not unknown to Nazi history, descriptions of his medicating the Führer here are new and fascinating. Stories of drug use among German soldiers are culled from old letters, anecdotes, and interviews with veterans. This book is well translated from the original German. VERDICT Ohler paints a picture of the Nazi era that will enthrall World War II history buffs and all nonfiction readers alike.—Brett Rohlwing, Milwaukee P.L. Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A fast-paced narrative delivers a surprising perspective on World War II: Nazi Germany’s all-consuming reliance on drugs. An international best-seller. 50,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Uncovers the full extent of drug use in Nazi Germany, from Hitler's reliance on a number of substances to the drugs that played an integral role in Germany's military performance and ultimate downfall in World War II.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A fast-paced, highly original history that uncovers the full extent of drug use in Nazi Germany'from Hitler's all-consuming reliance on a slew of substances, to the drugs that permeated the regime and played an integral role in Germany's military performance and ultimate downfall in World War II

Review by Publisher Summary 4

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERA fast-paced narrative that discovers a surprising perspective on World War II: Nazi Germany's all-consuming reliance on drugs 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.Carefully researched and rivetingly readable, Blitzed throws surprising light on a history that, until now, has remained in the shadows.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

A fast-paced, highly original history that uncovers the full extent of drug use in Nazi Germany—from Hitler’s all-consuming reliance on a slew of substances, to the drugs that permeated the regime and played an integral role in Germany’s military performance and ultimate downfall in World War II

Review by Publisher Summary 6

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERA fast-paced narrative that discovers a surprising perspective on World War II: Nazi Germany’s all-consuming reliance on drugs 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.Carefully researched and rivetingly readable, Blitzed throws surprising light on a history that, until now, has remained in the shadows.