6. The Nazis Attacked the Use of Some Hard Drugs, and Approved of the Use of Others
Drug addiction was so pervasive that even a high ranking official such as Herman Goering, Hitler’s second in command, was widely known to have a pill habit – developed while recovering from a bullet he took during the failed 1923 Beer Hall Putsch – without it generating much controversy. In that context, to the extent that addiction was even recognized as such, it was perceived as readily curable. Most of the time, however, addiction’s symptoms were wrongly attributed to other conditions, or misdiagnosed altogether in accordance with quack pseudoscientific theories that were prevalent at the time.
When the Nazis came to power in 1933, the use of cocaine and heroin, which became popular after WWI, went into precipitous decline. The Third Reich attacked those drugs as poisons, deliberately introduced to Germany by Jews as part of a sinister plot to undermine and weaken the Aryan race. However, attacks against those particular drugs did not indicate an across-the-board policy against drugs, per se. Heroin and cocaine might have become socially unacceptable in Nazi Germany, but the Nazis were fine with drugs they viewed as performance enhancing. Chief among those was crystal meth, in the form of Pervitin.