It is my conjecture that only two groups of people are interested in the scholarship of Nazi Germany: Those who wish to understand it better in order to avoid its happening ever again, and those who wish to understand it better in order to re-implement it and get it right this time.
Well, and now there’s me. My morbid curiosity is hereby piqued. The idea of the German high command being a bunch of crazed, hallucinating, meth-heads certainly would help to satisfy that whole WTF!? vibe associated with the unimaginable atrocities of the Third Reich.
Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich
by Norman Ohler
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.
An interview with the author appears in the Guardian. Fascinating stuff, and it will have to do until the book comes out.
U.S. release is May, 2017.