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Old 08-31-2019, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Haiku
4,677 posts, read 2,737,418 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
Was just watching an interview with Norman Ohler, the author of a book on Nazi Germany, who said that the country was full of drugs back then. Since Germany had no noteworthy colonies, German chemical companies came up with replacements for 'natural' drugs. The Bayer company, for instance, developed heroin and aspirin at the same time, families were eating Hildebrand chocolates that contained meth Hitler and his gang were on drugs, soldiers were taking drugs, everyone it seems was taking drugs. The author said that might well explain the brutal and cold-blooded behavior of German soldiers as well as weird theories and gross misjudgments on the part of the political leadership.

I had never heard of Nazi Germany's huge drug problem, but it might serve as a lesson to certain people today who support the 'freedom of drugs' so to speak.
Heroin was developed in 1880 or so. It was supposed to be a non-addictive alternative to morphine because a huge number of civil war soldiers became addicted to morphine during hospitalization. Of course that didn't work out so well.

Germany's supply of opium and morphine was cut off in WW II so they developed synthetic replacements, the most common was methadone, which is now used in the US to treat opioid addicts.

I doubt that German citizens under the Nazi abused drugs much since the Nazis threw drug addicts in concentration camps. But it is true some high level Nazis were addicts. Goering was addicted to morphine when he was apprehended at the end of WW II.

Hitler was not a drug addict or even a drug user. His physician gave him shots but they were vitamins.

President Kennedy on the other hand was getting shots of some pain killer, possibly narcotic, from his doctor. while he was President. He had a really bad back injury that was quite painful for him. He kept it hidden from the public.
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Old 08-31-2019, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Mars City
5,222 posts, read 2,236,159 times
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Drugs among Nazis - many, little, or none - pales in comparison to the gassing and murdering of Jews and others. Talking about drugs is as irrelevant to the 'big picture' as discussing the eating habits of Nazis, clothes they wore, music they listened to, etc.
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Old Yesterday, 08:08 AM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
22,000 posts, read 19,557,896 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thoreau424 View Post
Drugs among Nazis - many, little, or none - pales in comparison to the gassing and murdering of Jews and others. Talking about drugs is as irrelevant to the 'big picture' as discussing the eating habits of Nazis, clothes they wore, music they listened to, etc.
Your post makes no sense. I was not making any comparison. This thread is not about the Holocaust, but about the widespread drug abuse in Germany back then, including housewives that were eating Hildebrand chocolate with meth inside.

There might be a connection though, as some drugs lead to reduced morality and empathy, outright paranoia, etc. Things that could have contributed to the cold-blooded Holocaust and war crimes.

Last edited by Neuling; Yesterday at 09:20 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 08:25 AM
 
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They had the disease of addiction - not their fault for anything they did.
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Old Yesterday, 08:39 AM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
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I would not go that far.
I don't think people are no longer responsible for their actions just because they are stoned.
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Old Yesterday, 09:19 AM
 
4,035 posts, read 1,896,254 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thoreau424 View Post
Drugs among Nazis - many, little, or none - pales in comparison to the gassing and murdering of Jews and others. Talking about drugs is as irrelevant to the 'big picture' as discussing the eating habits of Nazis, clothes they wore, music they listened to, etc.
Emotions don't belong in the history forum.
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Old Yesterday, 11:26 AM
 
1,024 posts, read 237,826 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
Since Hitler was trying to become an artist, he might have taken drugs long before his political career started.
Oh? I was not aware that drug use was common among early 20th-century vagabond Austrian painters of watercolors.

Hitler painted before World War I. At the time he appears to have been a garden variety anti-Semite, though not to the raging extent that he became postwar (though in Mein Kampf, in the 'creative' autobiographical sections, he rewrites this and other elements of his past). Anyway, his only drug habit at the time appears to have been tobacco, long before he decided that it was a scourge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
There might be a connection though, as some drugs lead to reduced morality and empathy, outright paranoia, etc. Things that could have contributed to the cold-blooded Holocaust and war crimes.
I see no connection between the context in which the Holocaust occurred and substance abuse. Hitler tapped into a deeply-embedded strain of anti-Semitism in Germany. Before his rise to power his only serious dabbling with drugs was tobacco and, to a lesser extent, some drinking as a younger man. And by that time he had already clearly articulated his thoughts on Jews. Also, lebensraum - the notion that Germany should seize land in Eastern Europe - preceded Hitler's birth. The volkish movement, the Aryan racial theories, these things all came long before Hitler and Naziism.

On the micro-level, sure, substance abuse amongst the troops on the ground probably stimulated some massacres and made others more widespread. But most of those occurrences were ideological. That's why they were mostly confined to the Eastern Front. It's not like the Wehrmacht only supplied stimulants to those fighting in the East. It's just that's where the 'subhumans' (ie, the Slavs, as Nazi theory held) were located.
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Old Yesterday, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
6,671 posts, read 5,169,149 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bale002 View Post
My understanding is that companies like Bayer developed poppy derivatives and other such compounds since around the 1870s.

Personally I would not reasonably try to explain complex phenomena based on one variable, but one can always try and maintain a shred of credibility, happens every day.

I don't think anyone is supporting "freedom of drugs", but legalization, regulation, taxation, making stakeholders responsible.

Not a great policy, but perhaps better than what we've had over the past hundred years and worth a try.

Good Luck!

Decriminalization of addiction (petty possession for instance) is not the same thing as legalization.
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Old Yesterday, 11:59 AM
 
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The Weimar Republic had many of the markers of a society in decline along with flouting of traditional norms and rampant drug and alcohol use. See the film "Cabaret" for an example. "Party until we die" was the attitude in the air on the street.

Part of our confusion about the attitude toward manufactured drugs is not understanding that as each new drug was developed it was hoped to be an improvement on the side-effects and addictive qualities of the popular drug which had preceded it.

Last edited by Lodestar; Yesterday at 12:07 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 12:18 PM
 
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"Oh? I was not aware that drug use was common among early 20th-century vagabond Austrian painters of watercolors."

Hitler was a common house painter. But I don't think it would be uncommon for artists of that time to be influenced by the previous generation of artists and free thinkers who used absinthe for its supposed creative stimulating powers and psychoactive effects. This previous era was also an influence on elevating the concept of degeneracy.
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