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Drugs in Nazi Germany

On Tuesday 27th there was a Society talk with something of a difference with a joint meeting of the History and Medical Societies as we played host to the author Norman Ohler, over from Berlin. Their intersection of interest lay in a talk on ‘Drugs in Nazi Germany.’ Some of Herr Ohler’s address was orthodox enough: he identified how helpful use of the meta-amphetamine Pervitin was to the armies undertaking Blitzkreig to stay function for days at a time as they raced through the Ardennes. He also showed us an advert for chocolates made with 13 mg of the stuff for the open market – ‘the Nazi regime found it very hard to import coffee.’ He also looked at Hitler’s doctor’s records to show the Fuhrer’s growing dependency on the euphoria-inducing Eukodal. Where he slightly parted with convention was that he freely admitted some of the initiative for the book had come from his own involvement in the Berlin Club scene rather more than, initially, archival research. Perhaps a reason why possibly more staid academics had overlooked the topic. But he did make the important point that he was by no means out to exonerate the authors of some of the worst crimes in History – whatever the stimulants they sometimes deployed, their responsibility is undeniable. It was a fascinating talk enjoyed by his audience in a packed Marten Library.

ASR

DATE POSTED: 03 December 2018

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