Do you think you know a lot about World War Two? I think I know a lot about World War Two. I’ve read a lot of books, I’ve watched a lot of movies, I’ve listened to my husband natter on and on and on about his enormous mental collection of World War Two facts.
But you know what I didn’t know? That the Nazis were on drugs the whole time! And that this explains literally everything about the war!
Before I get into that, though, let’s go back a little further in time to post-World War One Germany. Life sucks. Fortunately, the Germans have drugs and alcohol to get them through the day. But then along comes Hitler, who’s like, “I should be enough of a drug for you! National socialism is the bomb, baby, and so am I!”
Drugs are banned. The Germans have a sad. But then the Nazis catch invasion fever and the Nazi high command is trying to figure out how to get their soldiers to stay up for days on end so they can invade Poland and France and have this all be a big surprise for Europe. And the answer to the Nazi invasion problem is, of course, drugs.
The German soldiers involved in the invasion of the Poland? They were high. The soldiers involved in the invasion of France? They were high, too. The soldiers involved in pretty much every military maneuver until the end of the war? Yep. High as kites.
Now, the Nazis at this point were basically chucking the pill equivalent of Red Bull down their throats, but then some scientist invented meth and it all went straight to hell. Everybody from Göring on down spent their hours snacking on pills…and, yeah, this killed quite a few of them. Yes, the doctors knew the drugs were stopping soldiers’ hearts. No, nobody cared.
But what about Hitler, vegetarian-and-clean-living-guru-extraordinaire? It just so happens that Hitler got himself a new physician early on the in the war. Dr. Theodor Morell was known for giving injections to rich Berliners that made them feel perkier…and soon Morell was giving Hitler those injections, too. Morell didn’t stop at vitamin injections, though. Soon he was shooting all kinds of stuff into Hitler, including “vitamins” made out of the rotting carcasses of dead Ukrainian animals, and having Hitler pop pills. Before you could say “Springtime for Hitler!”, the Führer was hooked on Morell’s injections, and his health took a sharp turn downhill.
All those wacky military decisions Hitler started making a year or two into the war? Yeah. Those were made because he was holed up in a bunker, getting high. There were men close to Hitler who were pretty sure Morell was trying to kill the Führer. This wasn’t the case; Morell was just an opportunist, and he opportunistically tested his concoctions on his patient (and surely there’s never been a man who deserved malpractice more).
If you can’t tell from my review, I thought this book was amazing. You should totally read it, if only so you can do what I’m going to do at my next family gathering, which is to tell my dad a whole lot of stuff he didn’t know about World War Two.