The Drugs That Fueled Nazi Germany

Drug Use Within The Nazis’ Regime

We all either know someone or have seen and heard of someone addicted to a drug. Some drugs have unknown origins and others have very obvious histories. For example, methamphetamine, better known as crystal meth. Meth is not only a popular drug of choice in the 21st century but it traces back to the early 1940s.

Methamphetamine was distributed by the millions in pill form to the Wehrmacht troops before the extreme invasion of France in 1940. A drug developed by The Temmler Pharmaceutical Company, based in Berlin, Pervitin.

Pervitin was first introduced in 1938 as a magic pill for alertness and an antidepressant. It was at one point even available over the counter for a brief time. Otto Ranke, a well known millitary doctor studied the effects of Pervitin on 90 college students. Upon the completion of his study Ranke decided that the drug would be beneficial in helping Germany win the war. While under the use of Pervitin, the soldiers of Wehrmacht would have the ability to stay awake for days at a time. They would have the ability to march many more miles without rest.

Medical Records That Changed Perspective.

Ohler, an award-winning novelist and screenwriter was quoted in an interview with VICE clarifying that when it came to Nazi Leaders: “Not all of them took every drug. Some more, some less. Some of them were on methamphetamine—for example, Ernst Udet, the Chief of Aircraft Procurement and Supply. Others were on strong anesthetics, like Göring, whose nickname was actually ‘Möring,’ from morphine.”

Ohler initial intention was to write about the Nazis’ long-rumored drug use. But he found detailed records left by Dr.Theodor Morell, Hitler’s personal physician. This is when Ohler decided to base his novel on fact instead of fiction.

Morell’s descriptive notes show the doctor was injecting Hitler almost daily. He was injecting the regime leader with various drugs, including amphetamines, barbiturates, and opiates.

However, Ohler stresses that his book in no way seeks to blame ware crimes on the drug use of the late regime. The Final Solution as laid out in Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and policies began in the 1930s, before the heavy use of drugs.

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