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Blitzed: Nazis on Drugs (2018)

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Inspired by Norman Ohler's revelatory book, Blitzed: Drugs In The Third Reich, the film reveals how both Hitler and Nazi Germany were heavily addicted to drugs. As Ohler 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 recently unearthed journals of Hitler's personal doctor, Theodore Morell, suggest that the Fuhrer was a full-fledged addict, taking an assortment of drugs including cocaine, opiates, steroids. Meanwhile, the entire nation of Germany was binging on speed. This was most prevalent on the battlefield, where the drug was systematically distributed to soldiers in order to transform the military ranks into seemingly unstoppable fighting machines.

The Nazis preached abstinence in the name of promoting national health. But when it came to fighting their Blitzkrieg, they had no qualms about pumping their soldiers full of drugs and alcohol. Speed was the drug of choice, but many others became addicted to morphine and alcohol. In 1938 a drug called Pervitin was created in Nazi Germany. This stimulant was a methamphetamine based pill, was available in every pharmacy and didn't require a prescription. Pervitin is commonly known as speed today, and it was the German army's -- the Wehrmacht's -- wonder drug.

In 1939, the Reich seemed unstoppable. Germany was an entire nation binging on speed with the drug being systematically used to keep soldiers awake and increase their fighting capacity. Many of the Wehrmacht's soldiers were high on Pervitin when they went into battle, especially against Poland and France -- in a Blitzkrieg fueled by speed. The German military was supplied with millions of methamphetamine tablets during the first half of 1940. The drugs were part of a plan to help pilots, sailors and infantry troops become capable of superhuman performance. The military leadership liberally dispensed such stimulants, but also alcohol and opiates, as long as it believed drugging and intoxicating troops could help it achieve victory over the Allies. But the Nazis were less than diligent in monitoring side-effects like drug addiction and a decline in moral standards. Ultimately though, this would contribute to their downfall.

Narrated by actor Steven Berkoff, Blitzed shines an extraordinary light on the Nazis experimentation with drugs in WWII - in particular methamphetamine, detailing Hitler's own further descent into pharmaceutically-fuelled madness, aided by the ministrations of his quack doctor Theodor Morell.