There’s no excuse for the incredible evils that Adolf Hitler inflicted upon the human race, but a new book posits that the delusions fueling his evil actions can be explained. In Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany, author Norman Ohler digs into the notes of Hitler’s personal physician Dr. Theo Morrell and finds that der führer was on a lot of drugs — a really insane number of drugs.
This isn’t entirely new information. Some historians maintain that the British ultimately threw out plans to assassinate Hitler because the guy was so stoned that he’d be easier to beat than a newer, soberer leader. Here are the wackiest of the 74 substances that old Adolf was allegedly taking.
The chemical cousin of heroin was known to be more potently euphoria-inducing than its opiate cousins. Apparently, Hitler was hopped up on the stuff in 1944 as he was planning the militarily insane Battle of the Ardennes (aka the “Battle of the Bulge”), a clash that has been described by WWI historian Antony Beevor as “totally irrational.”
The Nazi’s use of crystal meth to keep its soldiers awake and alert is well documented. Ohler contends that the popularity of methamphetamine-laced Fliegerschokolade (“flyers chocolate”) and Panzerschokolade (“tanker’s chocolate”) among soldiers stemmed from Hitler’s fondness for the drug, which, at high enough, repeated doses, can trigger feelings of deep despair and hopelessness. In 1943, Hitler supposedly took meth before hanging out with Benito Mussolini and proceeded to go on a two-hour rant.
Pig Liver Extract
In addition to a steady IV drip of vitamins, steroids, and glucose in very high doses, Hitler received injections of what Ohler noted, on BBC Radio 4 Today, were “pretty unsavoury things” — in particular, hormones derived from the liver of pigs.
In addition to having a micropenis, Hitler may or may not have lacked a testicle. So it only makes sense that he was worried about flagging testosterone levels. Sucking down bull semen was probably not going to help, though in certain circles it’s still rumored to be the ultimate bodybuilding serum and also an ingredient in Red Bull.
Because he was constantly cranked up on meth, Hitler, unsurprisingly, had a hard time getting to sleep. Morrell prescribed him Brom-Nervacit, a barbiturate derived from the chemical bromide, which he took a spoonful of every night as a sedative. While it probably succeeded in knocking him out — it’s still used as an anti-epileptic for younger patients in Germany — at high enough doses, the drug is known to cause clonic seizures, delirium, and psychosis.
Photos via Getty Images / David Silverman