Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable, audiobook edition of Blitzed by Norman Ohler, read by Jonathan Keeble.
The sensational German bestseller on the overwhelming role of drug-taking in the Third Reich, from Hitler to housewives.
'Bursting with interesting facts' Vice
'Extremely interesting ... a serious piece of scholarship, very well researched' Ian Kershaw
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Don’t be fooled by the Title
People would be forgiven for thinking that this is just one more example of that recently growing list of WWII Trivia books, full of fascinating, if light heartedly presented, facts about Hitler, that many of us already know. The clever pun, for a title would be to blame for that impression. Whereas, this is actually something quite different, and both much more valuable, and far more entertaining.
Finally, for those who’ve pondered certain famous questions about the behaviour of the Third Reich and, like me, have never been quite satisfied with the standard explanations of, “evil is as evil does,” this is a compelling and imaginative delve into a hither to, under studied aspect of war in general (and of WWII in particular).
The drug use, and abuse that was common place among the Clean Cut Arians, is one thing that is established, if little penetrated by other historians. But, this author, citing his (incontrovertible) methods and sources as part of the narrative, uncovers evidence, which offers a plausible (nay compelling) explanation for the rashness, bravery and genocidal cruelty of the the Reich, as a whole; as well as putting his finger on some of those famous imponderables of Hitler’s behaviour individually, such as why he held back his tank brigades at Dunkirk, allowing Britain to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.
Modestly admitting that he has only just begun to peel back the layers of this fascinating pharmacological fog, the author has, nonetheless, come up with a thesis that will inevitably lead toward a clearer understanding of how it was that murder could be so industrialised, and people could lose their own humanity, so easily. As a matter of fact, as you’ll see, it actually takes a lot of effort to be systematically wrong and evil. But, the Nazis found a way.
Superbly read by Jonathan Keeble, with natural authority and flair; you’ll never see the Nazis in the same way again. Quite brilliant