Drugs in the Third Reich
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
On Sale: March 7, 2017
Hardcover / e-Book
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A 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, meth
amphetamines, 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
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.
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