It comes off like cheap soccer-mom propaganda: “Hitler did drugs, you know. He did the dope and the crack and the speed and look how he turned out.” The premise is unbelievable because it’s just too much; it’s too hackneyed. But in a textbook case of reality panning out stranger than fiction, the Fuhrer’s fondness– his obsession, even–with a range of illicit substances has been documented and verified.
In his latest book Blitzed: Drugs In The Third Reich, German journo and author Norman Ohler launches an inquiry into the drug habits of the German people during World War Two. As it turns out, the Nazis certainly weren’t averse to a cheeky bit of junk here and there, and big daddy Adolf was among the worst of them.
A methamphetamine product by the brand name of Pervitin was the people’s choice of poison, apparently: a drug that was mass-produced by Germany’s then world leading pharmaceutical industry and pedalled to the public in the form of pills, chewing gum and chocolate. A recent article in Rolling Stone points out that while the Nazis abhorred the supposedly “decadent foreign bodies” of cocaine, marijuana and morphine, Pervitin was ingested as something of a super-drug–speed, effectively–given to soldiers on the frontline to make them more switched on and less fatigable. Jacked to the eyeballs on Perv, the Nazis were elevated to what Ohler calls “a state of absolute alertness… no one would sleep… an uninterrupted chemical bombardment had broken out in the cerebrum.” Munted, in other words, and ready to conquer the world.
Hitler, meanwhile, took a slightly more Gonzo approach. Under the not-so-professional guidance of his personal physician, the Fuhrer frequently shot up with a cocktail of ‘vitamins’, hormones, methamphetamines and, eventually, the oxycodone-based medicinal opioid Eukodal. Over time, Hitler became such a heavy user that he built a dependency on this stronger class of narcotics, and eventually took to mainlining some 20 milligrams of potent Eukodal to get his fix. Hitler’s habit became so severe, writes Ohler, that he ultimately forbid his physician/pusher from leaving his side for more than a day at a time.
This image, of the Fuhrer in a fevered sweat, itching at track marks down his arms and legs, is a pretty gritty underside to the more conventional teachings of the History Channel. Hitler the junkie; the speed-freak; the meth-fiend. I bet the ‘down with drugs’ picketers of the world couldn’t believe their luck– if demonising narcotics is your modus operandi, then you could hardly hope to find a better poster-boy than Adolf Hitler and his stupid, gurning mug.
Source: Rolling Stone
Feature image: Sony Pictures