Adolf Hitler wasn’t just addicted to war, he was an addict. This startling revelation comes in a book by the German author Norman Ohler titled Blitzed: Drugs In Nazi Germany, which will be out in English on 6 October.

Blitzed, which was originally published in German last year with the title Der Totale Rausch (The Total Rush, a wordplay on the Nazi phrase “total war"), is Ohler’s first book of non-fiction. The author, who is based in Berlin, got the idea for the book from a DJ friend of his, who told him that the Nazis were heavily into drugs. A little digging unearthed the notes and journals kept by Hitler’s personal physician, Theodor Morell, shining new light on Hitler’s war machine.

There is good evidence to believe, Ohler reveals in his book, that Hitler’s last days in the bunker were doubly cursed for him: Not only was the war lost and the end near, he was also suffering withdrawal symptoms from a type of heroin. This was secretly administered to him by Morell in the form of an opiate called Eukodal, a pharmaceutical cousin of heroin. Records reveal that as the tide turned against Germany in the war, Hitler became more and more dependent on Eukodal, which gave the user instant energy and a sense of euphoria and invincibility.

Another drug, a methamphetamine pill called Perivitin, was the drug of choice for the German army. Perivitin was an over-the-counter energy booster and a precursor of crystal meth that was very popular in pre-war Germany—it was banned towards the end of the war. But the army was free to use it, and in dosages that kept soldiers up and highly energetic for three-four days without sleep.

This was essential in some of the more daring operations that the German army flung itself into, like the invasion of France through the Ardennes mountains. When the German high command realized that resting at night during the mountain crossing would nullify their plans, a decree was sent out recommending high dosages of Perivitin for the soldiers. Thirty-five million tablets were distributed to the troops who marched to take France in 1940. Yes, Erwin Rommel, who led one of the Panzer divisions, was hopped on meth.

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