Meth, Hitler and the Reich: the true, untold story of the Nazis' dependence on coke, meth and oxy


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/03/meth-hitler-and-the-reich-th.html


#2

So the modern-day correlation between meth-head-ism and skin-head-ism is just historical accuracy?


#3

Not meth, though: the generals wanted the U-boat commanders to chew cocaine chewing gum, which was tested on concentration camp prisoners who were made to chew the gum and walk until they dropped from exhaustion.

WTF!


#4

They told us in elementary school that drugs couldn’t make you Superman, but apparently they can make you die übermensch.


#5

This came up last year.


I’ll just copy my post:

Not just the Germans, and not just WW2. From Wikipedia: "During World War II, amphetamine and methamphetamine were used extensively by both the Allied and Axis forces for their stimulant and performance-enhancing effects…

“Amphetamine was given to Allied bomber pilots during World War II to sustain them by fighting off fatigue and enhancing focus during long flights. During the Persian Gulf War, amphetamine became the drug of choice for American bomber pilots, being used on a voluntary basis by roughly half of U.S. Air Force pilots.The Tarnak Farm incident, in which an American F-16 pilot killed several friendly Canadian soldiers on the ground [in Afghanistan], was blamed by the pilot on his use of amphetamine.”

I knew a man who joined the Canadian Army as a teenager at the end of WW2, and was training to go to the Pacific when the war ended. He described being given a pill that the recruits were told would eliminate the need for food. I’ve always assumed that was some sort of amphetamine or similar stimulant.

Soldiers have been returning from war as addicts for a long time. From the Wikipedia article on morphine:
"…its extensive use during the American Civil War allegedly resulted in over 400,000 sufferers from the “soldier’s disease” of morphine addiction."


#6

Hitler originally went to Morrell for digestive complaints. In addition to the drugs, Morrell also messed around with Hitler’s diet, putting him on increasingly restrictive regimes. Apparently surviving records indicate this could have gotten to the point of little more than gruel and water. All drugs and no food make Hitler a very angry boy.


#7

Does the book also point out that it wasn’t just the Nazis using methamphetamines, but all the major combatants? U.S. used them for the soldiers, so did Britain, so did Japan. I can only assume that Russia did as well, but I haven’t read anything specific on it.


#8

Shut up! Drugs are bad! Nazis are bad! Complexity is for the weak!


#9

Band name!

First Album title!


#10

An old co-worker that flew warthogs in Gulf War I said that they were given “uppers” before each mission.


#11

This was a plot point in Cryptonomicon

Two hours later, a doctor in a white coat passes through, headed for Goering’s coach, carrying a silver tray with a white linen cloth on it. Tastefully arrayed on this, like caviar and champagne, are a blue bottle and a glass hypodermic syringe.


#12

One more correlation between Hitler and the orange Snifflepuss?


#13

For situations where the choices are “stay awake and be safe” or “fall asleep and get yourself (and likely your buddies) killed”, methamphetamine at functional doses is a wonderful (and generally safe) companion.

As long as you only do it occasionally.

As an occasional emergency-override stay-awake stimulant in low doses, it’s more effective and has fewer side effects than alternatives like caffeine.

As a continuous daily dose, especially at higher recreational doses, it’s a complete nightmare. Makes you stupid, paranoid, and, eventually, psychotic. You’ll grind your teeth to stubs and get malnutrition from B-vitamin depletion and forgetting to eat. Nasty, nasty stuff.

As Galen the Physician said long ago, “The poison is in the dose.”


#14

Can’t wait for the Seth Rogen & James Franco film of this. Or, Oliver Stone but in his Natural Born Killers time. OR - Tommy Chong & Mel Brooks. Yeah - that’s the ticket.


#15

If front-line soldiers are using meth to stay awake as they escape the Korsun Pocket, that’s one thing.

If they’re using it on a routine basis, if pilots are using it, etc., it would be better to let them sleep. In this regard, it’s revealing that all sides’ pilots were using it, and that Elvis got addicted to it in peacetime, and so on.


#16

Iraq:oil::afghanistan:opium


#17

Sure. Meth, like a lot of drugs, is a powerful and dangerous tool.

I’m not suggesting anyone’s hands are clean, but there’s a world of difference between offering it to fatigued pilots and soldiers as an occasional and temporary emergency-override (with adequate drug-free downtime between missions), and daily-dosing factory workers and housewives to improve their productivity.

(OTOH, trying to keep submariners continuously awake on cocaine is a really, really bad idea no matter how you slice it. And the death-camp experiments are horrifying madness, likely fueled by meth psychosis.)


#18

there’s also the fact that the first aid kits on the apollo missions carried amphetamines and at one point jim lovell, commander of apollo 13, and deke slayton in his role as coordinator of astronaut activities discussed the apollo 13 crew making use of them.


#19

Pervitin.

Marketing brilliance.


#20

So, we’re incarcerated, underfed, facing death by gas, freezing our butts off…

…but we’ve got the free cocaine, so we’ve got that going for us.

Side note: cocaine in chewing gum. The delivery system most likely to create a recursive loop. I mean, that’s the way Nature herself designed it… chewing coca leaves.

The more you chew, the more you want. The more you want, the more you chew! Ad infinitum – or heart seizure; whichever comes first.