Hitler's invasion of France shocked the world. In four days, Hitler's troops conquered more French territory than the German army had secured in four years of the First World War. Amazing as it sounds, it also sounds quite impossible. Is the theory behind the purity of the Aryan race actually as true as Hitler had claimed it to be, or was his army a power packed bunch of superheroes? Or maybe all that zest was just the result of consuming energy drugs!
That's what Norman Ohler had to say in his book Der Totale Rausch – (Total Rush) , which was published in Germany last week.
Hitler's army carried out their Blitzkrieg invasions of Poland and France while tripping on a very high version of crystal meth, reveals Ohler in his book. The methamphetamine-based drug, manufactured since 1937 by the Nazis under the brand name Pervitin was distributed among the forces, which kept the soldiers euphoric and wide awake.
"In the beginning, the army didn’t realise Pervitin was a drug: soldiers thought it was just like drinking coffee," explained Ohler. It was sold as a pill designed to combat stress. The Nazis however knew the true use and value of Pervitin.
After their success in Poland in 1939, the Germans ordered 35 million more of these pills before the attack on France. Pervitin helped the invading Nazis stay awake, keep going and, apparently, feel great.
The author bases his findings on months of research at military archives in Germany and the United States. He also reveals that General Erwin Rommel, who was popularly known as the "Desert Fox" consumed the drug as if it was his daily bread. The book explains how Hitler had practically turned into a junkie by the time he shot himself in his Berlin bunker.
Hitler's physician Dr Theodore Morell had a huge part to play. After managing to conceal his true Jewish origin, the doctor was said to have worked closely with Hitler. Mr Ohler gained access to Morell's notes which reveal that he gave Hitler a total of 800 injections over a period of 1,349 days.
Hitler was also addicted to a painkilling narcotic called “Eukodal." Ohler shares how after the use of the drug, he was able to convince Mussolini against breaking the diplomatic alliance with Germany in 1943.
Ohler says that the Germans rejected mainstream recreational drugs like cocaine and morphine labeling them as "Jewish" and came up with their own varieties. Pertrvin was originally introduced in the market as an alternative to Coca Cola! To make sure the poor homebound wives don't get left out, the Nazis even developed chocolates containing the drug.