Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germay by Norman Ohler - an extract

Blitzed 250

The Nazis presented themselves as warriors against moral degeneracy. Yet, as Norman Ohler’s gripping bestseller reveals, the entire Third Reich was permeated with drugs: cocaine, heroin, morphine and, most of all, methamphetamines, or crystal meth, used by everyone from factory workers to housewives, and crucial to troops’ resilience – even partly explaining German victory in 1940.

The promiscuous use of drugs at the very highest levels also impaired and confused decision-making, with Hitler and his entourage taking refuge in potentially lethal cocktails of stimulants administered by the physician Dr Morell as the war turned against Germany. While drugs cannot on their own explain the events of the Second World War or its outcome, Ohler shows, they change our understanding of it. Blitzed forms a crucial missing piece of the story.

This non-fiction book was selected to be part of the Radio 2: Fact Not Fiction Book Club with our panellists stating:

“Well written and researched, this is a great history book … The author’s style is engaging and accessible."

“This book provides quite a unique perspective and insight into the invasions of the Germany … I was immediately ‘hooked’ into the narrative."

Download the exclusive extract and then write your group’s thoughts in the Book reviews section.

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