Hitler Was ‘Blitzed’ On Cocaine & Opiates During World War II: Hear a Wide-Ranging Interview with Best-Selling Author Norman Ohler

His­to­ri­ans have writ­ten an extra­or­di­nary amount about Hitler, the Third Reich, and World War II–so much, that it’s hard to imag­ine any­one could find some­thing nov­el to say about this dark peri­od of his­to­ry. But Ger­man jour­nal­ist Nor­man Ohler has done just that. In his new book, Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich, Ohler looks at how Hitler became increas­ing­ly depen­dent on a mix­ture of cocaine and opi­ates dur­ing the wartime years, all of which could have influ­enced his deci­sion mak­ing. Mean­while, despite Nazi pro­pa­gan­da against “degen­er­ate” cul­ture, Ger­man troops con­sumed large quan­ti­ties of crys­tal meth dur­ing major mil­i­tary oper­a­tions. Some 35 mil­lion meth tablets were ingest­ed dur­ing the 1940 inva­sion of France alone.

Ohler gath­ered much of his evi­dence while review­ing the papers of Hitler’s pri­vate physi­cian, Dr. Theodor Morell. And while some schol­ars have crit­i­cized Ohler’s account, Ian Ker­shaw, arguably the world’s lead­ing author­i­ty on Hitler and Nazi Ger­many, has called Blitzed “a seri­ous piece of schol­ar­ship” and “very well researched.”

Below you can hear Ohler talk about Nazi drug use in a 35-minute inter­view with Ter­ry Gross.

If you want to down­load Blitzed as a free audio­book, you could always get it through Audible.com’s 30-day free tri­al. Find more details on that here. Audiobooks.com also offers a sim­i­lar deal.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Nazi’s Philis­tine Grudge Against Abstract Art and The “Degen­er­ate Art Exhi­bi­tion” of 1937

The Nazis’ 10 Con­trol-Freak Rules for Jazz Per­form­ers: A Strange List from World War II

Fritz Lang Tells the Riv­et­ing Sto­ry of the Day He Met Joseph Goebbels and Then High-Tailed It Out of Ger­many

How Did Hitler Rise to Pow­er? : New TED-ED Ani­ma­tion Pro­vides a Case Study in How Fas­cists Get Demo­c­ra­t­i­cal­ly Elect­ed

The New York Times’ First Pro­file of Hitler: His Anti-Semi­tism Is Not as “Gen­uine or Vio­lent” as It Sounds (1922)

Leni Riefenstahl’s Tri­umph of the Will Wasn’t a Cin­e­mat­ic Mas­ter­piece; It Was a Stag­ger­ing­ly Effec­tive Piece of Pro­pa­gan­da

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  • George Orlando says:

    To me the crit­i­cism appear to be valid. It seems quite weird and ridicu­lous that a coun­try in mid-war with the pop­u­la­tion of 70 mil­lion peo­ple, and that the major­i­ty is drug addicts don’t have unde­ni­able facts. I mean, the WWII end­ed a lit­tle more then half-cen­tu­ry ago and we don’t have not one his­tor­i­cal account to some­thing so huge as a major­i­ty of a whole coun­try on drugs?

  • penelope pitstop says:

    You might enjoy “Infi­nite Reich” by Patri­cia Kir­go. Nazi drugs in action. Satire at its best. Very fun­ny! goo.gl/Rs2CuQ

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