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The Führer Myth: How Hitler Won Over the German People
Orlando Figes. The Shortest History of Germany. James Hawes. Natural Born Heroes. Christopher McDougall. Shadowplay: Behind the Lines and Under Fire. Tim Marshall. Your review has been submitted successfully. Not registered? Forgotten password Please enter your email address below and we'll send you a link to reset your password. Not you? Forgotten password? Women were recommended to eat two or three, after which they would be able to get through their housework in no time at all — with the added bonus that they would also lose weight, given the deleterious effect Pervitin had on the appetite.
Ohler describes it as National Socialism in pill form. Not only did it make sleep unnecessary Ranke, who would himself become addicted to the drug, observed that he could work for 50 hours on Pervitin without feeling fatigued , it also switched off inhibitions, making fighting easier, or at any rate less terrifying.
The Wehrmacht ordered 35m tablets for the army and Luftwaffe, and the Temmler factory increased production. How far is Ohler willing to go with this? He smiles. But the invasion of France was made possible by the drugs. No drugs, no invasion. When Hitler heard about the plan to invade through Ardennes, he loved it [the allies were massed in northern Belgium]. But then the stimulant decree was released, and that enabled them to stay awake for three days and three nights. Thereafter, drugs were regarded as an effective weapon by high command, one that could be deployed against the greatest odds.
In , for instance, when it was increasingly clear that victory against the allies was all but impossible, the German navy developed a range of one-man U-boats; the fantastical idea was that these pint-sized submarines would make their way up the Thames estuary. But since they could only be used if the lone marines piloting them could stay awake for days at a time, Dr Gerhard Orzechowski, the head pharmacologist of the naval supreme command on the Baltic, had no choice but to begin working on the development of a new super-medication — a cocaine chewing gum that would be the hardest drug German soldiers had ever taken.
It was tested at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, on a track used to trial new shoe soles for German factories; prisoners were required to walk — and walk — until they dropped. He had never heard about it before. You must, somehow, exceed your own strength.
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Meanwhile, in Berlin, Hitler was experiencing his own unreality, with his only ally in the world his podgy, insecure personal physician, Dr Morell. In the late 20s, Morell had grown a thriving private practice in Berlin, his reputation built on the modish vitamin injections he liked to give his patients.
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Both were isolated. When Hitler fell seriously ill in , however, the vitamin injections that Morell had counted on no longer had any effect — and so he began to ramp things up. Did Morell deliberately turn Hitler into an addict? When those around him tried to remove Morell in the fall of , Hitler stood up for him — though by then, he knew that if he was to go, he [Hitler] would be finished. They got along very well. Morell loved to give injections, and Hitler liked to have them.
The Hitler Myth | History Today
He was time-pressed; he thought he was going to die young. But mostly, they talked about it in oblique terms. Maybe he was trying to block it off from his mind.
The effect of the drugs could appear to onlookers to be little short of miraculous. The next, he would be ranting unstoppably at Mussolini. Ah, yes: Mussolini. In Italy, Blitzed will come with an extra chapter. A tall order, and one he mentions frequently but rarely takes on systematically in his analysis. The challenge is to balance the claims of myth and terror in explaining Hitler's hold on power, for while Hitler's propaganda mechanism was manufacturing myth, a parallel coercive mechanism was manufacturing fear.
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