Governments that Tried to Create Super Soldiers and Super Weapons
Governments that Tried to Create Super Soldiers and Super Weapons

Governments that Tried to Create Super Soldiers and Super Weapons

Khalid Elhassan - January 15, 2022

Governments that Tried to Create Super Soldiers and Super Weapons
Hitler and his personal physician, Theodor Morell. Pinterest

2. The Doctor Who Turned Hitler and Nazi Higher Ups Into Drug Addicts

As German “super soldiers” raged across Europe and the Mediterranean basin while high on cocaine-laced crystal methamphetamine, their commander in chief, Adolf Hitler, himself became a daily user of Pervitin. It explains some of his otherwise inexplicable wartime decisions. As the war progressed, the Fuhrer found it increasingly difficult to even get out of bed in the morning without shots of a drug concoction that included Pervitin. That was thanks in large part to a quack doctor, Theodor Morell, who eased Hitler’s chronic digestive ailments with him cultures of live bacteria.

Governments that Tried to Create Super Soldiers and Super Weapons
A super happy Hitler. Rolling Stone

To reward Morell, the relieved German dictator made him his personal physician. As a result, the doctor’s popularity skyrocketed, especially among high-ranking Nazis. That popularity was not due solely to the boost that Morell got from his status as Hitler’s doctor. He routinely treated his patients with injections of addictive drugs that had them coming back for more. Herman Goering, himself an all-out drug addict and a copious pill popper, sarcastically referred to doctor Morell as “the Reichmaster of the injections“.

Governments that Tried to Create Super Soldiers and Super Weapons
Hitler towards the end. German War Machine

1. Methamphetamine Remained Legal in Germany Until the 1990s

The quack Dr. Theodor Morell did more than get the Fuhrer hooked on crystal meth, or methamphetamines, via Pervitin. He also turned him into a cocaine addict, after he prescribed it to soothe the dictator’s sore throat and clear his sinuses. Hitler soon had a compulsion to frequently soothe his throat and clear his sinuses. By 1945, the Fuhrer 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 final weeks, Hitler 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. No surprise, since millions of returning soldiers could swear by the super high it gave them. It was 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. It was finally banned outright and declared illegal after German reunification in the 1990s.


Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

All That is Interesting – How Drugs Like Pervitin and Cocaine Fueled the Nazis’ Rise and Fall

Andreas, Peter – Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs (2020)

Atlantic, The, September 25th, 2013 – How Alcohol Conquered Russia

Booth, Martin – Cannabis: A History (2005)

Clark, Christopher – Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947 (2006)

Cracked – Prussia’s King Tried to Breed an Army of Giant Super Soldiers

Gizmodo – A Beginner’s Guide to Navy-Strength Rum

Guardian, The, September 25th, 2016 – High Hitler: How Nazi Drug Abuse Steered the Course of History

History Collection – This Nazi Butcher Became a CIA Operative and South American Drug Kingpin

History of War – The Potsdam Giants: How the King of Prussia ‘Bred’ and Army of Super Soldiers

Keegan, John – Soldiers: A History of Men in Battle (1997)

Macalister College – Vodka: The Bitter Stuff

Military History Monthly, June 12th, 2012 – War Culture: Military Drinking

Military History Now – Fighting Spirits: Three Centuries of Rum in the Royal Navy

Ohler, Norman – Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich (2017)

Rolling Stone, March 15th, 2017 – Hitler and His Drugs: Inside the Nazis’ Speed Craze

Spiegel, May 30th, 2013 – The German Granddaddy of Crystal Meth

Top Tenz – 10 Ways Drugs Have Been Utilized in Warfare Throughout History

War History Online – The Potsdam Giants: A Prussian Infantry Regiment of Nothing but Very Tall Soldiers

Weapons and Warfare – Potsdam Giants by Name!

Wikipedia – Drug Policy of Nazi Germany