1. The Context That Explains Hitler’s Cocaine Addiction
Dr. Morrell not only got the Fuhrer hooked on crystal meth via Pervitin, he also turned him into a cocaine addict after the quack prescribed it to soothe the dictator’s sore throat and clear his sinuses. It was in the context of that treatment that Hitler soon developed an irresistible compulsion to soothe his throat and clear his sinuses. By 1945, Hitler was a full blown junkie with rotting teeth, addicted to a bewildering variety of drugs. When his drug supplies ran out in the war’s closing weeks, the Furher suffered all the symptoms of severe withdrawal: delusions, psychosis, paranoia, extreme shaking, and kidney failure.
Pervitin remained popular and readily available in Germany after the war, frequently prescribed by doctors as an antidepressant or as an appetite suppressant, or readily obtainable on the black market. German students – especially medical students – were huge fans of the drug, which they used as a stimulant to help them cram for exams. It was only removed from medical supplies in East Germany in the 1970s, and in West Germany in the 1980s, before it was finally banned and declared illegal after German reunification in the 1990s.
Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading