Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich

By Norman Ohler
Translated by Shaun Whiteside
Directed by Claire Bloom
Read by Stefan Rudnicki

7.34 Hours 03/07/2017 unabridged
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The Nazi regime preached an ideology of physical, mental, and moral purity. But as Norman Ohler reveals in this gripping new history, the Third Reich was saturated with drugs. On the eve of World War II, Germany was a pharmaceutical powerhouse, and companies such as Merck and Bayer cooked up cocaine, opiates, and, most of all, methamphetamines, to be consumed by everyone from factory workers to housewives to millions of German soldiers. In fact, troops regularly took rations of a form of crystal meth—the elevated energy and feelings of invincibility associated with the high even help to explain certain German military victories. Drugs seeped all the way up to the Nazi high command and, especially, to Hitler himself. Over the course of the war, Hitler became increasingly dependent on injections of a cocktail of drugs—including a form of heroin—administered by his personal doctor. While drugs alone cannot explain the Nazis’ toxic racial theories or the events of World War II, Ohler’s investigation makes an overwhelming case that, if drugs are not taken into account, our understanding of the Third Reich is fundamentally incomplete. Carefully researched and rivetingly readable, Blitzed throws surprising light on a history that, until now, has remained in the shadows.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times Bestseller

An Amazon Best Book of the Month for March 2017

A BuzzFeed Books Pick of Incredible Books to Read This Spring

The Nazi regime preached an ideology of physical, mental, and moral purity. But as Norman Ohler reveals in this gripping new history, the Third Reich was saturated with drugs. On the eve of World War II, Germany was a pharmaceutical powerhouse, and companies such as Merck and Bayer cooked up cocaine, opiates, and, most of all, methamphetamines, to be consumed by everyone from factory workers to housewives to millions of German soldiers. In fact, troops regularly took rations of a form of crystal meth—the elevated energy and feelings of invincibility associated with the high even help to explain certain German military victories.

Drugs seeped all the way up to the Nazi high command and, especially, to Hitler himself. Over the course of the war, Hitler became increasingly dependent on injections of a cocktail of drugs—including a form of heroin—administered by his personal doctor. While drugs alone cannot explain the Nazis’ toxic racial theories or the events of World War II, Ohler’s investigation makes an overwhelming case that, if drugs are not taken into account, our understanding of the Third Reich is fundamentally incomplete. Carefully researched and rivetingly readable, Blitzed throws surprising light on a history that, until now, has remained in the shadows.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A fascinating, most extraordinary revelation.” BBC World News
“Absorbing…Makes the convincing argument that the Nazis’ use of chemical stimulants…played a crucial role in the successes, and failures, of the Third Reich.” Esquire
“Tells a deliriously druggy tale of the Third Reich.” Paris Reviews
“The picture [Ohler] paints is both a powerful and an extreme one…Gripping reading.” Times Literary Supplement
“Ohler’s astonishing account of methamphetamine addiction in the Third Reich changes what we know about the Second World War…Blitzed looks set to reframe the way certain aspects of the Third Reich will be viewed in the future.” Guardian (London)
“An intense chronicle of ‘systematic drug abuse’ in Nazi Germany…Written with dramatic flair…this book adds significantly to our understanding of the Third Reich.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Norman Ohler

Norman Ohler is an award-winning German novelist, screenwriter, and journalist. He spent five years researching Blitzed in numerous archives in Germany and the United States, and spoke to eyewitnesses, military historians, and doctors. He is also the author of the novels Die Quotenmaschine (the world’s first hypertext novel), Mitte, and Stadt des Goldes (translated into English as Ponte City). He was cowriter of the script for Wim Wenders’ film Palermo Shooting.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 7.34
Audience: Adult
Language: English