Throughout the course of human history, few people were as singularly described as "pure evil" than Adolf Hitler. His plan to eradicate Jewish people from the planet resulted in 6 million deaths and incited one of the biggest wars in history. When questioning how he could convince so many others to participate and agree with his villainous notions, people credit it to his powers of persuasion and as a public speaker. A new book, "Blitzed: Drug Addicts in the Third Reich," paints a different picture of the tyrant.
According to author Norman Ohler, Hitler was a full-blown junkie who relied on regular injections of cocaine, methamphetamine, and opiates to merely get through the day. Without the cocktail of narcotics, Hitler could barely even manage to make it to his military meetings. One anecdote from Ohler describes the physical toll regular drug use took on the tyrant, claiming his "veins were so wrecked" from drug use that his personal physician "could hardly penetrate them."
Even when Hitler managed to shoot up, the needle injecting the vein "made a crunching noise."
Any physician willing to inject someone with drugs, despite the "crunching noise," might not be the most reliable health care professional. Hitler's physician, Theodor Morell, was a peculiar individual. According to Ogler, Morell wore a "fantasy uniform based on his own designs" and gladly injected Hitler with anything that could cheer him up. Adding to his strange appearance, Morell's eyelids would blink from the bottom up instead of from the top down.
Morell knew how his patient reacted to all the drugs in his system, and upon realizing a diminishing effect, began to mix other drugs into those injections. Those injections, according to Ohler, gave Hitler "heightened feeling(s) that corresponded so perfectly to his own image of greatness — and that reality no longer supplied,"
Considering Ohler wrote an entire book on the subject, Hitler clearly wasn't the only Nazi drug addict in the '40s. Through his research of German federal archives, Ohler discovered that both German soldiers and civilians had a heavy reliance on Pervitin, which was a pill form of meth that would supposedly "integrate shirkers, malingerers, defeatists and whiners."
The pill became so prominent, in fact, that Ohler describes its use being as commonplace as a cup of coffee, being used by secretaries to work faster, emboldening firemen to feel braver, and new mothers to cope with postpartum depression.
As Hitler's career progressed and international forces began to close in on him, causing himself to be isolated, the leader no longer felt the rush he'd get speaking for crowds and replaced the sensation with drugs. Ohler writes, "Between the autumn of 1941, when he started being given hormone and steroid injections, and the second half of 1944, Hitler hardly enjoyed a sober day."
[H/T New York Post]