In his new book Blitzed, German writer Norman Ohler reports that Hitler dabbled in some of the hardest drugs of his time, including intravenous injections of methamphetamine (crystal meth), cocaine and oxycodone. In short, Hitler was high for most of WWII.
From 1941 to 1945, Ohler estimates that Hitler received more than 800 injections of methamphetamines and oxycodone, courtesy of his physician, Dr. Morell (pictured above, left of Hitler, classic evil-doctor-look), and popped more than a thousand pills. That means that Hitler shot up nearly every day, so it should come as no surprise that his veins were destroyed by the time he committed suicide in his bunker in 1945.
Speaking of Hitler’s suicide, the Fuhrer’s drug addiction probably played a large role in his mental state during his final days.
“It has been suggested that he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease,” Ohler told The Guardian. “To me, though, it’s pretty clear that it was partly withdrawal. Yeah, it must have been pretty awful. He’s losing a world war, and he’s coming off drugs.”
5. The Allies' Bombing Decimated Hitler's Drug Supply
The reason for Hitler’s withdrawals? When the Allies bombed the German pharmaceutical plants where Hitler’s favorite drugs were made, his supply began to dwindle. This made for one very frustrated, mentally unstable, cold turkey Furhrer.
The Third Reich’s drug abuse problem didn’t just start and stop with Hitler — it affected the entire Nazi party. In his book, Ohler details the extent of Nazi drug usage, which revolved mostly around methamphetamine-based stimulants. The Third Reich regularly supplied Nazi soldiers with Pervitin, an early version of crystal meth. So yes, the Nazis were waging a war while high on crystal meth.
Pervitin was deemed a “militarily valuable drug” because it made soldiers feel invincible and reduced their fatigue. In just a few short months in 1940, the German army and Luftwaffe received more than 35 million doses of Pervitin. The drugs proved effective for the German army, as their amphetamine-fueled Blitzkriegs significantly devastated and demoralized Allied forces.
“No drugs, no invasion,” Ohler explained. “[Pervitin] enabled them to stay awake for three days and three nights.”
Drugs became such an integral part of Germany’s plan of attack in WWII that Nazis even conducted experiments and studies on prisoners in concentration camps. At the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, officers forced prisoners to take a potent cocaine chewing gum and walk and walk and walk until they dropped.
9. Why Didn't We Learn About Hitler's Drug Addiction In History Class?
World War II has been over for more than seven decades, so how are we only just now realizing the full extent of drug abuse in the Third Reich? Ohler took a stab at it: “I guess drugs weren’t a priority for the historians. A crazy guy like me had to come along.”
If you want to learn about the flaws, the turmoil and the drug abuse in the Nazi Party, you should read Ohler's book.
“You think [the Nazi Party] was orderly," Ohler said. "But it was complete chaos. I suppose working on Blitzed has helped me understand that at least. Meth kept people in the system without their having to think about it.”