Ohler wrote the book based on records of Nazi bosses. He also found access to the private records of Dr Theodor Morrell, Hitler’s chief doctor who was called ‘Herr Reich Injection Master’ in the regime’s inner circle.
“Hitler loved Eukodal,” Ohler said. “He used his strong drug that made him euphoric even when reality wasn’t looking euphoric at all. The generals kept telling him: ‘We need to change our tactics. We need to end this. We are going to lose the war.’ And he didn’t want to hear it. He had Dr Morell give him the drugs that made him feel invulnerable and on top of the situation.”
By taking the drug Pervitin, which is very similar to crystal meth, Nazi soldiers were able to fight for longer and with less food. Between 1939 and 1945 more than 200 million Pervitin pills had been issued to troops.
The soldiers and Hitler were not the only ones doing drugs. All the Nazis were getting high.
“A man called Dr Fritz Hauschild , once the chief pharmacologist at Temmler, was the man behind the production. It was crystal meth without a prescription and millions took advantage of it,” Ohler explains. “It was a socially accepted consumption. Chocolates with methamphetamine were marketed to make the day go by easier and the domestic chores of women less arduous. The success in the Blitzkrieg can be attributed to the fact that no-one went to sleep.”
The man behind the widespread distribution of Pervitin was Otto Ranke, a military doctor and director of the Institute for General and Defense Physiology at Berlin’s Academy of Military Medicine.When he realized it boosted self-confidence and self-awareness, he ordered that it be fed it to soldiers:
“I decided to give them Pervitin as they began to lie down in the snow wanting to die,” Ranke is on record for saying. “After half an hour the men began spontaneously reporting that they felt better. They began marching in orderly fashion again, their spirits improved, and they became more alert.”
Hitler’s drug usage shouldn’t be a shocker, just as it shouldn’t be surprising that everyone in the Third Reich was high. Drugs have routinely been abused by soldiers during war, even our own men and women. There is, however, something scandalous about the widespread drug consumption of the Nazis, who reveled in their own racial ‘purity’ while their bodies were pulsing with all kinds of chemicals.