Blitzed. Drugs in Nazi Germany – Norman Ohler, Shaun Whiteside (translator)
The sensational German bestseller on the overwhelming role of drug-taking in the Third Reich, from Hitler to housewives.
‘Bursting with interesting facts’ Vice
‘Extremely interesting … a serious piece of scholarship, very well researched’ Ian Kershaw
The Nazis presented themselves as warriors against moral degeneracy. Yet, as Norman Ohler’s gripping bestseller reveals, the entire Third Reich was permeated with drugs: cocaine, heroin, morphine and, most of all, methamphetamines, or crystal meth, used by everyone from factory workers to housewives, and crucial to troops’ resilience – even partly explaining German victory in 1940.
The promiscuous use of drugs at the very highest levels also impaired and confused decision-making, with Hitler and his entourage taking refuge in potentially lethal cocktails of stimulants administered by the physician Dr Morell as the war turned against Germany. While drugs cannot on their own explain the events of the Second World War or its outcome, Ohler shows, they change our understanding of it. Blitzed forms a crucial missing piece of the story.
Norman Ohler was born in Zweibrücken in 1970. He is the author of three novels, Die Quotenmaschine (the world’s first hypertext novel), Mitte and Stadt des Goldes as well as two novellas. He was co-writer of the script for Wim Wenders’ film Palermo Shooting. He researched Blitzed in numerous archives across Germany and the United States.
Shaun Whiteside has translated widely in both French and German, including Sybille Steinbacher’sAuschwitz: A History.
The German edition is entitled Der totale Rausch. Drogen im Dritten Reich.