Blitzed: Hitler, Third Reich high on drugs, says new book
09 Mar 2017
Author Normal Ohler says that the Third Reich was 'blitzed' on drugs during the war.
In his book Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich, which is being released in the US, Ohler says Hitler had become increasingly dependent upon drugs as World War II dragged on.
According to Ohler, Hitler needed those highs to substitute [for] his natural charisma, which he had lost in the course of the war.
In his book, based partly on the papers of Hitler's private physician, Ohler describes the role of drugs within the Third Reich. According to Ohler the Fuhrer's drug use spanned three different phases.
"The first one are the vitamins given in high doses intravenously. The second phase starts in the fall of 1941 with the first opiate, but especially with the first hormone injections," Ohler says. "Then in '43, the third phase starts, which is the heavy opiate phase."
Ohler links his story with the origins of the German pharmaceutical industry, specifically a pill called Pervitin, a synthetic version of methamphetamine.
Pervitin, a stimulant that can pass easily from the blood into the brain, was used by Japanese kamikaze pilots.
According to Ohler, Pervitin was the great untold story of the Third Reich. In Germany the drug ''landed like a bomb, spread like a virus, sold like sliced bread, and was soon as much of a fixture as a cup of coffee,'' Ohler writes.
He says that Pervitin more importantly allowed the ''individual to function in the dictatorship.''
According to commentators this was a dangerous assertion, one that mitigated individual responsibility, and suggested that Hitler's rise had much to with a collective German drug high. They point out that Ohler knew there was scant evidence to actually support the claim.