Years ago, I heard about this book while my mom was listening to NPR while I was in the car. I don’t remember how I retained it for all those years but I did. I remembered it and, finally, I decided to buy it when it was cheap somewhere.
I’m so happy that I did it.
This book is absolutely crazy because I didn’t know the extent of drug use in WWII and, in general, Nazi Germany. When I think of that era, I don’t think of drugs. Sure, I knew Hitler was absolutely insane, but I didn’t think he was influenced as deeply as he was by drugs. Throughout most history books, people just write about how he was a vegetarian/vegan and how he didn’t really do alcohol and those things.
However, thanks to this book, I really don’t think that you can view his actions, and the actions of his army and other high-ranking Nazi officials, without looking at how rampant drug use was.
I mean, meth. Cocaine. Opioids. The hard shit that we hear about as totally bad for you.
You can’t even look at the decline in Hitler’s health without looking at how much drugs he was taking. And, let me tell you, he was on a lot of drugs that would have caused the issues that you see towards the end of his life, plus the withdraws when Germany couldn’t get the supply it needed.
This is one of those books that you hear about and think that it sounds interesting, but I don’t think you can quite get the grasp of how bad it was until you read this book. Because it was stunning. I didn’t want to put it down. I haven’t been in a huge nonfiction mood lately, but this was the book that helped nudge me back into wanting to read it more.
Is this part of history something you knew about before this book?