The abominable actions of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi soldiers were fueled by meth, records show. A new book, Der Totale Rausch (The Total Rush), by German writer Norman Ohler, will profile the rampant drug use after years of researching both German and U.S. records. Ohler, whose research shocked him mostly because of Hitler’s drug use, said the drugs are what helped, “maintain his delusion until the end.”
Nazis took to Pervitin: a pill-like crystal meth. At first it was an over-the-counter drug sold in European pharmacies guaranteeing alertness. According to Ohler, one pill was enough to keep the Nazis awake for hours—and allowed them to hike almost 36 miles in a day—making Nazis think of it like coffee. Once the effects wore off Nazis were became short-tempered and angry.
A 2005 Der Spiegel report explained how Pervitin made its way into the hands of German soldiers citing a military doctor’s experiment of it on 90 college students where the doctor said the pill would “help win the war.” Not even six months later and millions of the drug were flown to the Nazis where they were handed out before invasions. Ohler said Pervitin was specifically used for Blitzkriegs like the invasion of Sudetenland, Poland, and France.
Hitler, who famously used heroin, doping agents, and other hard drugs, according to his physician Dr. Theodor Morrell’s notes, may or may have not used Pervitin. If he did, it would’ve made for a dangerous combination since long-term meth use can have neurological effects causing aggressive behavior and psychosis, while long-term heroin use effects decision-making and causes irrational behavior when stressed.