Contemporary Notes

Hitler, Amphetamines And The History Channel


R.E. Prindle

I’m sure the History Channel has run the program High Hitler many times but I caught it only recently.  I was astonished at the lack of sophistication of the writers of the show.  They seemed to have been astonished that Hitler was an amphetamine user as though the drug and drugs were an unusual phenomenon.

Before you’re going to deal with a person on drugs as Hitler obviously was it pays to acquire a background in the history of drug use.  In the first place amphetamines were first synthesized in 1887, albeit by a German, long before Hitler.  While it is commonly thought that Hitler had amphetamines discovered in the 1930s to keep his troops on their feet and alert, such is not the case.  Amphetamines were almost universally used by the armies of the world:

During WWII the military of…

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