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Autor: reviewessays • December 24, 2010 • Essay • 899 Words (4 Pages) • 592 Views
"A Need for Speed"
During World War II in Nazi Germany, the only thing considered more imperative than committing genocide against the people of Jewish descent, was devising ways to inevitably defeat their foes. The merciless German researchers would stop at nothing to try and enhance their chances at constructing the "super race". Along with all the pharmaceutical help, researchers needed to experiment with these new drugs to ensure their effectiveness. Prisoners of concentration camps were forced to take these experimental drugs and have their limits tested. While the Americans' secret weapon was the atomic bomb, Germany tried to win the war with their own secret weaponÐ'--drugs.
Using stimulant drugs was frequent practice for the Nazi army of Germany throughout World War II. German officials declared that drugs such as Pervitin and Isophan were anticipated to facilitate the German soldiers on the front's fights with nearly unlimited endurance towards the conclusion of the war (Drugscope). According to some sources, Pervitin is chemically identical to methamphetamine. In post-soviet countries it is mainly produced by means of chemical reduction of ephedrine. There was a period in soviet drug history when Pervitin appeared and ephedrine users started to switch from ephedrine to Pervitin. Most probably it was caused by longer effects of Pervitin than ephedrine (ACID).
Many of the Wehrmact soldiers were high on Pervitin when they went into battle, particularly against Poland and FranceÐ'--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 generously distributed such stimulants, but also alcohol and opiates, as long as they assumed drugging and intoxicating troops could help them accomplish triumph over the Allies. But the Nazis were less than meticulous in supervising the side-effects like drug addiction and a decline in moral principles (Ulrich.)
The armed forces of Germany were not the only ones; however whose perceptions of reality were distorted throughout the second half of World War II. Hitler, with the help of his personal physician, Theodore Morell, took numerous substances to combat everything from gastro-intestinal problems to Parkinson's disease later on in life. Morell first began treating Hitler due to his suspicion of an outbreak of syphilis. Hitler, thought to be hypochondriac, confided in Morell as he was a leader in the treatment of sexual transmitted diseases. It is not known weather he actually had the disease or not, but he accepted treatment no questions asked. In his book, Mein Kampf, the fuehrer illustrated in extreme detail throughout fourteen pages the "Jewish Disease", as he called it (Various Authors).
Hitler was being injected with, and ingesting, 28 different drugs a day by April 1945. A medical diary of the substances given to Hitler was kept by Morell. Most of these were commercial preparations along with some of his own creation. Some historians have contemplated that Morell may have inadvertently contributed to Hitler's diminishing physical condition due to the fact that many of the compounds he ingested were considered toxic. Some of these materials included, but are not limited to: forms of strychnine, Testosterone, Caffeine, Cocaine, Methamphetamines, and E.coli (various).