Drugs in the Third Reich

eBook - 2017
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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.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2017].
Edition: Frist U.S. edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781328664099
Characteristics: 1 online resource (307 p.)
Additional Contributors: Whiteside, Shaun - Translator

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Jul 11, 2018

At first it seems like a sick joke or the premise of a terrible movie: the Nazis were on drugs! But German journalist Norman Ohler's short, but substantial book offers a fresh perspective on an exhaustively studied subject. Ohler's research finds that German pharmaceutical companies provided the Third Reich with drugs, notably the pill Pervetin, which was a methamphetamine that German troops popped by the million. Ohler's premise is that the pills, which meant troops could go without sleep for days, fueled the Blitzkreig and German's initial shocking, swift victories. In addition, the Furher was basically a junkie with his own physician. So much for Aryan purity. A valuable addition to a crowded field.

May 27, 2018

When I read the premise of this book, I put it in the 'sensational (meaning dubious) history' category. I would have skipped this book had it not been for the young'uns in our history book club wanting to read something 'exciting'. By page 10, I was hooked. Like others who are perpetual students of history, I couldn't believe I could've gone this long without knowing about the wide use of drugs in the military. The book is a quick read, with the proper use of extensive footnoting (i.e., he didn't try to put everything he knew in the body of the book). And that's saying something - with the amount of digging through obscure archives the author must have done, I'm surprised he didn't trip over the Lost Ark of the Covenant.

I just need to say that nothing in this book tries to excuse what the 3rd Reich did (or tried to do). It did provide another way of looking at some of the events of WW2 that have puzzled military historians. It also provided some interesting insight to how a large swath of a population could allow themselves to be seduced by evil.

Theoretical_Onesie Apr 27, 2018

Very interesting and fact filled book. Tells you a lot about what really went on with the Nazis. At first I thought it was making drugs sound fun but reading it all the way through has changed my mind!

Apr 27, 2018

Popular history taught me that Hitler was a meth addict and that it explained his erratic behavior near the end of the war. This book explores those anecdotal stories and expands it to the entire third reich.

Through looking at and combining records from disparate archives, the author astutely recreates Germany's love affair with methamphetamine, and the fuhrer's love of opiates and cocaine.

What is most impressive about this book is that it gives a totalized explanation for WWII from the perspective of Nazi drug use. At the end you may or may not agree with the general thesis, but it gave me an entirely new way to think about Germany and it's actions during WWII.

A fascinating book on many levels.

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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