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Blitzed

Drugs in Nazi Germany
Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
Categories: History, 20th Century
4.5 out of 5 stars (157 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Nazis presented themselves as warriors against moral degeneracy. Yet, as Norman Ohler's gripping best seller reveals, the entire Third Reich was permeated with drugs: cocaine, heroin, morphine and, most of all, methamphetamines, or crystal meth, used by everyone from factory workers to housewives, and crucial to troops; resilience - even partly explaining German victory in 1940.

The promiscuous use of drugs at the very highest levels also impaired and confused decision-making, with Hitler and his entourage taking refuge in potentially lethal cocktails of stimulants administered by the physician Dr Morell as the war turned against Germany. While drugs cannot on their own explain the events of the Second World War or its outcome, Ohler shows, they change our understanding of it. Blitzed forms a crucial missing piece of the story.

©2016 Norman Ohler (P)2016 Penguin Books Limited

Critic Reviews

"Bursting with interesting facts." ( Vice)
"Extremely interesting...a serious piece of scholarship, very well researched." (Ian Kershaw)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A new perspective

I had little knowledge about the pervasiveness of amphetamines in WW2 Germany but the evidence is there. It provides an interesting perspective into the course of the war from the view of drug use and abuse. There’s good content there and it’s worth listening to. There’s a lot of overly harsh critiques of this work. Probably best to make up your own mind.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A great revisionist history of Nazi Germany.

A great revisionist history of Nazi Germany the author portrays a decadent drug crazed view of Adof Hitler and the 3rd Reich.

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Absolutely fascinating. Meth was the drug of choice of the Third Reich.

Absolutely fascinating. Meth was the drug of choice of the Third Reich. It helps to understand how a whole population could be morally corrupted.

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amazing

I really had no idea that drugs fuelled the whole nazi campaign. amazing really that this isn't public knowledge

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Riveting

Fascinating and insightful. One of the best history books I've ever experienced. Truly wonderful and a total must.

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Very interesting book. Fenatstic narration

Very interesting book. A fascinating take of the 2nd world war. Fenatstic narration, the best in an AudioBook so far

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  • James
  • Tasmania
  • 12-09-2018

Incredible history.

An intense reading of a compelling narrative around the use of drugs in the Third Reich.

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brilliant book!

This is a facinating book, brilliantly written and narrated, highly recommend it! truth truly is stranger than fiction.

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An astonishing read/listen.

Well researched, written and read.
Almost unbelievable but makes so much sense of the madness of world war 2, Nazism and the holocaust.

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Wonderful insight into NAZI WW2

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
After all the information I have read on WW2, I didn't think there was more to unfold about this sad period in the history of the human race. This information has left me with new thoughts on such a tragic rise of evil and the power

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  • Tim
  • 13-03-2017

One Reich, One God, One Dealer

This is a fascinating rollercoaster ride through the history of third Reich seen through the prism of substance abuse. The premise that the German people, especially their fighting forces, ran on massive amounts of Crystal Meth and Hitler was addicted to Hill Billy Heroin was shocking, but makes perfect sense. How else could Hitler’s armies roll up Europe like a cheap rug in just a matter of days? The work seems well researched and is extremely well performed by Johnathan Keeble. The events it documents are both fascinating and horrifying by turn. I’m a fairly keen WWII reader but this told several tales which I hadn't heard before. I’d heard that Hitler had a serious problem with substances which I always found odd because he was famously keen on health and fitness. The book explains this transition from extreme vegan to severe doper in great detail.

If I have any qualms about the narrative it feels like the author may be over playing his hand, just a touch. He goes in for quite a bit of speculative thinking extending his already startling and well documented theory beyond firm facts. Attributing Hitler’s decline in sanity and health primarily to substance abuse is fascinating but it may be joining up dots which are not really be there. Regardless, this is a marvelous, compelling read. If you have any interest whatsoever in WWII its causes and impact on our world, you will find this an extremely satisfying read.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • 09-02-2017

A excellent narrative.

Holy Guacamole! This audiobook is a blast. Even if you have read more Third Reich books than is good for normal functioning, get this one.

I've rarely have had as much fun learning than I have has listening to this audiobook. The subject is new, it's fascinating, and it keeps you listening. I listened to it almost at one go. While it covers the subjects of drugs in the Third Reich, it's something of a drug itself--very hard to quit.

As a pharmacological history of the Third Reich and a pharmacological biography of Hitler this book can not be beat. It sheds an entirely new light on Hitler and his enabler/pusher Dr. Morel. It also sheds light on how the Wehrmacht can be understood as a Walter White experience gone horribly off the rails.

Thanks to this new understanding we have a understanding on how Hitler was able to power thought the war sustained on junk (both literal and figurative) The number and amount of items Hitler had pushed into his veins by the good Doctor Morel is amply and chillingly documented. The rise and fall of both Hitler and his Reich is plotted with excruciating detail on medical charts and on prescription notes. What a strange, long and ultimately disastrous trip it was.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Roman
  • 13-03-2017

Butchered German pronunciation

Really liked the content, it opened a whole new perspective on the third Reich. In terms of performance I only wish the reader would have taken the time to research the basics of correct German pronunciation. The way he butchered German names and expression was neither English nor German and just horrible. As a fluent speaker of German I feel it wouldn't have been to much to ask for to do a little research. Other than that the performance was alright.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jaded Buddha
  • 26-11-2016

Top notch audiobook!

This is a gripping historical narrative, offering an unusual perspective on Hitler and the Nazis. It develops a fascinating argument -- that amphetamines and pharmaceuticals were a significant factor in the history of the Second World War. While this is not an *entirely* new argument -- I read a history of amphetamines a few years ago called _On Speed_ that made similar suggestions -- Blitzed caught the pass and ran with it all the way into the end zone for the touchdown. Rooted in scholarship, but very fun to listen to, and well performed by the audio reader. Excellent!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-03-2017

Revelatory

An eye opening account of the endemic use of drugs in the Third Reich: both amongst the Nazi elite and the fighting men for whom meth amphetamine was an essential element in their early successes, especially the invasion of France.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • easyfour
  • 11-03-2017

Amazing!

Would you consider the audio edition of Blitzed to be better than the print version?

I love the narrator! He's definitely been given some acting instruction by a very good teacher!

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character? Am I allowed to say Hitler? Theodor Morrell is great, but he simply isn't as significant. Perhaps the drugs themselves?

What does Jonathan Keeble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He accentuates, signs, pauses, etc. It's fantastic theater.

Any additional comments?

This is one of the most interesting books I've ever read or heard. It's a must-read for any WWII enthusiast.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • JB
  • 10-03-2017

Rewrite History!

Hitler's drug use has been long known. You can go all the way back to Trever-Roper for Morell's use of "28 substances." Nevertheless, conventional historians have discounted the impact this would obviously have had. The question is only a matter of degree. Unfortunately Ohler, a dreaded non professional historian, overplays his hand with the melodramatic flair, and will be discounted by the mainstream just like the reports of Hitler's doctor, as a quack!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • John Martyn
  • 20-02-2017

Outstanding!

This book blew my mind! Very well written - extremely engaging - very well narrated. I highly recommend it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • 01-01-2017

The Third Reich Just Got Weirder

Normally this book would not get five stars from me but it is such an idiosyncratic work I must recommend it. I am not a WWII sort of guy but I have listened to all 57 hours of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by Shirer so am not a complete novice.

The first part of the book seemed slow going but then I learned the blitzkrieg into France was organized, more or less, out of a desperate Chinese Fire Drill and was made successful by nearly a complete accident of insubordination. And perhaps enabled (or perhaps entirely enabled) by prodigious distribution of methamphetamines. These guys needed to keep awake for something 48 hours straight just to get started.

In addition I did not realize till the book was done that it is a translation! That is a recommendation by itself as something of a natural curiosity. From time to time I caught myself thinking, in the bck of my mind, (pst! Fredrico Felini! ). I will leave the fact checking to others but there simply are a lot of reasonably plausible weird things that any armchair strategist would be delighted to take up in late night beer fest.

Finally, the general theme seems to include an accusation Hitler's personal physician was such a total quack Hitler was lucky to have lived into 1942. What I find amazing is this guys quackery must have worked rather well because otherwise Hitler could be mistaken for a German Rasputin rising from the dead every three or four months till he finally had to do the job himself with a small calibre Walter pistol.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Dr Dionne P Joseph
  • 29-11-2016

Amazingly good book. Revelatory!!

Fantastically interesting book. I listened to it pretty much in one go. Could not put it down. This sheds an entirely new light onto historical events, not least the supposed invincibility of the German army in the early stages of the war.

Fascinating, absorbing listen. I have been telling everyone I know about the findings/revelations in this book. Totally recommended, plus top-notch narration.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Sam
  • 12-02-2017

very interesting

fascinating aspect of history not much reported on. becomes a little bit repetitive over the course of the book but overall very good

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • MrLucyfer
  • 19-12-2016

Illuminating

It does not justify the horrible disgusting things Hitler and the Nazis did but it explains many things. Worth a read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Charles Palmer
  • 08-12-2016

Very illuminating.

Well researched and serious history of the overlooked role of pharmacology in the 3rd Reich

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-10-2019

Fascinating story and beautiful narration

A great read! If you want to know more about drugs have shaped human history this is a good place to start.

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  • Dropshort2000
  • 13-10-2019

Truth is stranger than fiction

if this book is true and there's no reason to disbelieve it, it provides a new perspective on Hitler's failings as a leader. A must read.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-10-2019

Insightful lesser known story of evil

A well told story of the most evil period in world history- I was initially sceptical that drugs played a significant part in the Nazi ranks. But, through well researched evidence this story really is gripping and adds another chilling chapter the Nazis. Beautifully narrated.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-09-2019

great book

Very compelling and insightful account of one of the cruelest crimes ever committed in human history, seen through the medical records of drug addicted psychopaths who posed as moralists hidden behind army uniforms and hateful rhetoric.

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  • William
  • 07-09-2019

Why was this story not told before?!?

It is mystifying that such an important dimension to an understanding of one of the greatest horrors of the twentieth century should have remained unexplored for so long.
This book peoviy convincing account of one of the main drivers of Nazi ideology - narcotics. The history of Hitler and the Third Reich make more sense seen through this lens.
The story is told with adequate detail to convince but does not given in to the temptation of excessive length. It is narrated with vigour and is easy to listen to, thanks to a first-class performance from the reader.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-09-2019

extremely interesting and well written

very very fascinating book totally recommend it for any person interested in history of world war II

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  • George
  • 06-06-2019

One of the best books I've read

I rarely finish a book in under a week. This masterpiece of a story and fact made for one of the most enjoyable reads I've ever had. A definite.