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High Hitler

Hitler and most of the Third Reich were ravenous drug users during WWII, author says

Hitler and most of the Third Reich were ravenous drug users during WWII, author says

There are many things considered to be common knowledge about Adolf Hitler; he was vegetarian, partial to the toothbrush mustache, a failed fine artist and a Nazi despot responsible for the reprehensible, systematic murder of six million jews. Oh, and he was also high off his face for the entirety of World War II, as was much of the Third Reich.

Norman Ohler examines this narcotics habit that skirted detection in his international bestseller, “Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany”

This segment originally aired March. 20, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO. 

“Blitzed” is based in part on the notes of Theodor Morell, the personal physician to Hitler. When Ohler stumbled upon the doctor’s papers, he says he recognized the presence of opiates.

Part of Hitler’s manufactured image was a sober, seemly man, but records show otherwise. In 1941, Hitler was prescribed an opiate, now recognized as oxycodone, for illness. He was hooked. And Hitler wasn’t the only one in the Third Reich or the German Army mainlining drugs. Ohler found evidence that 35 million doses of methamphetamine were shipped to the tank troupes.

Ohler does not believe the drug abuse even slightly absolves the crimes against humanity committed by the Nazis, nor does he think it normalizes their behavior. “It’s very important to realize the politics, the planning, has nothing to do with drugs.” He told VICE News, “drugs were used later on in the war effort. But would drugs lessen the responsibility? My conclusion is no.”

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