Under the Influence

9781328663795_8e391A book that gives a unique look at Hitler is rising on Amazon after author Norman Ohler discussed the Nazi leader’s drug use on NPR’s Fresh Air.

In his book Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich (HMH; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample), Ohler says Hitler became increasingly dependent on drugs from high power vitamin and hormone injections to opioids, cocaine, and more, “to substitute [for] his natural charisma, which … he had lost in the course of the war.”

Further, the drugs enabled much of the long war effort. “For him it was important to be able to function at all times, to never have a day off, because he distrusted anyone in his surroundings, especially the generals. He had to make all the military decisions,” Ohler says. His drug-induced and manufactured optimism tricked the generals and made them wonder “if he had a secret weapon up his sleeve.”

Ohler also reports that German soldiers were given meth. It was considered a perfect drug for the fighters because it reduced fear levels and the need to sleep. “Thirty-five million tablets of methamphetamine” were given out just as the invasion of France took place. “It actually worked. The Germans reached Sedan after an amazingly short period of time … while the French and British [armies] were still in northern Belgium, where they had actually expected the German attack.”

The book rose to #31 on Amazon, from #2,736. Holds are high in libraries, where few systems have yet to receive copies. In some locations ratios are topping 5:1.

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