Hitler And Nazi Drug UseThis print version free essay Hitler And Nazi Drug Use.
Category: History Other
Autor: reviewessays 24 December 2010
Words: 899 | Pages: 4
"A Need for Speed"
During World War II in Nazi Germany, the only thing considered more imperative than committing genocide against the people of Jewish descent, was devising ways to inevitably defeat their foes. The merciless German researchers would stop at nothing to try and enhance their chances at constructing the "super race". Along with all the pharmaceutical help, researchers needed to experiment with these new drugs to ensure their effectiveness. Prisoners of concentration camps were forced to take these experimental drugs and have their limits tested. While the Americans' secret weapon was the atomic bomb, Germany tried to win the war with their own secret weaponÐ’â€”drugs.
Using stimulant drugs was frequent practice for the Nazi army of Germany throughout World War II. German officials declared that drugs such as Pervitin and Isophan were anticipated to facilitate the German soldiers on the front's fights with nearly unlimited endurance towards the conclusion of the war (Drugscope). According to some sources, Pervitin is chemically identical to methamphetamine. In post-soviet countries it is mainly produced by means of chemical reduction of ephedrine. There was a period in soviet drug history when Pervitin appeared and ephedrine users started to switch from ephedrine to Pervitin. Most probably it was caused by longer effects of Pervitin than ephedrine (ACID).
Many of the Wehrmact soldiers were high on Pervitin when they went into battle, particularly against Poland and FranceÐ’â€”in a Blitzkrieg fueled by speed. The German military was supplied with millions of methamphetamine tablets during the first half of 1940. The drugs were part of a plan to help pilots, sailors, and infantry troops become capable of superhuman performance. The military leadership generously distributed such stimulants, but also alcohol and opiates, as long as they assumed drugging and intoxicating troops could help them accomplish triumph over the Allies. But the Nazis were less than meticulous in supervising the side-effects like drug addiction and a decline in moral principles (Ulrich.)
The armed forces of Germany were not the only ones; however whose perceptions of reality were distorted throughout the second half of World War II. Hitler, with the help of his personal physician, Theodore Morell, took numerous substances to combat everything from gastro-intestinal problems to Parkinson's disease later on in life. Morell first began treating Hitler due to his suspicion of an outbreak of syphilis. Hitler, thought to be hypochondriac, confided in Morell as he was a leader in the treatment of sexual transmitted diseases. It is not known weather he actually had the disease or not, but he accepted treatment no questions asked. In his book, Mein Kampf, the fuehrer illustrated in extreme detail throughout fourteen pages the "Jewish Disease", as he called it (Various Authors).
Hitler was being injected with, and ingesting, 28 different drugs a day by April 1945. A medical diary of the substances given to Hitler was kept by Morell. Most of these were commercial preparations along with some of his own creation. Some historians have contemplated that Morell may have inadvertently contributed to Hitler's diminishing physical condition due to the fact that many of the compounds he ingested were considered toxic. Some of these materials included, but are not limited to: forms of strychnine, Testosterone, Caffeine, Cocaine, Methamphetamines, and E.coli (various).
Nazi examiners used concentration camp prisoners to test a cocaine-based "wonder drug" they hoped would enhance the performance of German troops. Inmates at Seshsenhausen who were given the drug, code-named D-IX, were forced to march in circles carrying twenty kilogram packs. They were able to march for fifty-five miles without resting. One eyewitness wrote, "At first the members of the punishment battalion whistled and sang songs. [But] most of them had collapsed after the first 24 hours." (Newspaper Limited). The researcher Wolf Kemper, who uncovered the project, said: "The aim was to use D-IX to redefine the limits of human endurance."(Drugscope). Nazi doctors were enthusiastic about the results, and planned to supply all German troops with the pills, but the war ended before D-IX could be put into mass production (Newspaper Limited).
The use of stimulants and other drugs in Germany during World War II could have been a double edged sword. In one respect, the substances at hand bestowed super-human abilities to the Wehrmact soldiers during the Blitzkrieg warfare. On the other hand, when dependency and tolerance came into play, the soldiers lost abilities to function properly. Even Hitler suffered from the negative effects of Pervitin and other drugs. Soon before his death, it was believed that he was suffering from Parkinson's disease. He suffered from tremors on the left side of his body along with a shuffling walk. Some experts now coin this to his dependency on methamphetamine use and its deteriorating effects on the body after prolonged use.
Guardian Newspapers. "Nazis Tested Cocaine on Camp Inmates". Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited. www.buzzle.com. 11/18/2002. 11/15/2005.
Webmaster. "Nazis Tested Cocaine and Speed in Concentration Camps". Copyright 2002 Drugscope. www.drugscope.org. 11/18/2002. 11/15/2005.
Ulrich, Andreas. "Hitler's Drugged Soldiers". Copyright Spiegel Online 2005. The Nazi Death Machine. Translated from "the German" by Christopher Sultan. 05-05-2005. 11/13/2005. http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,druck-3354606,00.html
Various Authors. "Theodore Morell" wikipedia.org. 11/13/2005. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodor_Morell