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Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich by Norman…
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Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich

by Norman Ohler

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Audiobook. I had no idea drugs were so prevalent in WWII. Definitely explains some of the behaviors. An eye opening book about the power of these drugs. One could arguably make the case that the Axis powers, i.e. Germany, lost the war because of a reliance on these drugs. Hitler was dependent on many drugs at the time of his death and the author does an excellent job retelling the story of how it got to that point. The author is careful to explain, and at one point explicitly describes how the drugs were not at fault for his madness, and that he was a murderous sociopath far prior to his dependency. The dependency sped things along. ( )
  rdwhitenack | Sep 11, 2018 |
With a tendency to be sensationalistic and overblown, this doesn't seem to be a particularly rigorous or wholly credible history, but it sure is fun, and I had a "feels right" gut check as I finished. The author uses the evidence of prevalent drug use in Germany not to excuse the Nazis but to explain some of the inexplicable early gains and later day bad decisions they made during the war. Hitler and his nation follow the early powerful highs and inflated confidence then the eventual long-term burnout, desperation and decay that is the fate of a drug addict. ( )
  villemezbrown | Jul 28, 2018 |
While Hitler's political ambitions were already well underway, one cannot wonder how much Dr Morell's drug cocktails influenced the outcome of WW2. The alleged widespread use of methamphetamine by Germany's military and the civilian population is truly disturbing. Furthermore, the power that Morrel gains during the war, as Hitler's personal physician, combined with the horror stories of methamphetamine use during combat make this book a fascinating read. ( )
  dwhatson | Apr 28, 2018 |
This is a fascinating, well-researched account of drug use by Germans, including Hitler, during WWII. In spite of portraying himself as a clean-living healthy specimen of the master race, Hitler was , in reality, dying of his drug addiction by the end of the war. It doesn't excuse the horrendous actions he ordered done in any way, nor does the author excuse Hitler from any blame. The author's findings do offer a different picture of the conduct of the war and go a long way to explain some of the inexplicable decisions Hitler made. ( )
  terran | Apr 27, 2018 |
We all know about how revolutionary and effective the blitzkrieg was early in WWII. What I didn't realize was the widespread drugs that made the blitz possible. For the most part, German soldiers and tank crews were tweaked on crystal meth; allowing them to operate for days at a time without sleep. It is almost funny than when Hitler ordered a halt to the advance in France because it was going too quickly, the orders failed to reach general Heinz Guderian because he had already moved on and secured the next objective.

This book chronicles the millions of doses of crystal meth and other narcotics doles out by Reich physicians, but also the Fuhrer's descent in to addiction at the hands of his person physician, Dr. Morrell. As Hitler became more and more dependent, the more erratic he became, and the gradual fall ensued. It's really surprising how much success and failure can be tied to systematic drug abuse, more so because ideologically the party was very much against such thing. Hitler was a self-styled teetotaler and felt strongly that a street sweeper who enjoys his drink needs to look no further to the reason why he is but a street sweeper.

With drug addiction comes reality distortion, and as Hitler succumbed, the rest of the enterprise went down the toilet as well. Ridiculous orders had to be carried out under the threat of execution, and many of those who knew the collective Stuka was auguring into the ground were powerless to help. As troops developed a tolerance to the drugs they were given, their performance started to suffer and they fell victim to their increasingly experienced, sober counterparts.

There are many reasons the Third Reich did not succeed, but this book makes a compelling case that being stoned out of their gourd was probably a leading cause. ( )
1 vote JeffV | Jan 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Ohler’s skill as a novelist makes his book far more readable than these scholarly investigations, but it’s at the expense of truth and accuracy, and that’s too high a price to pay in such a historically sensitive area.
 

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Norman Ohlerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Whiteside, ShaunTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
A political system devoted to decline instinctively does much to speed up that process. Jean-Paul Satre
Dedication
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National Socialism was toxic, in the truest sense of the word.
Quotations
Pervitin kept people from sleeping, but it didn't make them any cleverer. Ranke concluded without a trace of cynicism that this made it ideal for soldiers...
It was also cheap: the military average dose, Ranke calculated, came to four tablets per day, which at the pharmacist's purchase price amounted to 16 pfennigs, while coffee worked out at about 50 pfennigs a night - "So these stimulants are more economical."
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0241256992, Hardcover)

The sensational German bestseller on the overwhelming role of drug-taking in the Third Reich, from Hitler to housewives. 'Bursting with interesting facts' Vice 'Extremely interesting ... a serious piece of scholarship, very well researched' Ian Kershaw 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 04 Oct 2016 01:53:17 -0400)

The Nazi regime preached an ideology of physical, mental, and moral purity. But as Norman Ohler reveals in this 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 the case that, if drugs are not taken into account, our understanding of the Third Reich is fundamentally incomplete.… (more)

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