Blitzed by Norman Ohler

Rate: 3/5

Medium: Audiobook

Overview: While the subject of World War II has quite often frequented my book selections over the years, I always enjoy finding a narrative that presents a novel perspective or context.  For example, recently I’ve read The Zookeeper’s Wife and Dunkirk, which both of which detailed events I previously knew very little about, despite having read many books regarding this aforementioned time period. Blitzed continues this theme as Ohler details the use of drugs in the Third Reich, with specific focus on the soldiers, Hitler, and his personal physician. While this concept proved thought provoking regarding Hitler’s actions, much of Ohler’s evidence entailed matching the physician’s treatment notes with the corresponding descriptions of Hitler during meetings following the injections. Ohler also makes a bold claim that the drug Pervitin, which is crystal meth, was used liberally by not only soldiers but also the general German population, from mothers to doctors.  By the end of the book Ohler fails to discuss or provide evidence for the aftermath for a society if there had been systemic meth addiction post war, as a whole generation would have been struggling with addiction. Additionally, with so many of Ohler’s claims being touts as factual, I found myself surprised that I hadn’t previously heard rumblings regarding this specific subject.  The last time I’d felt this way was reading Area 51 by Annie Jacobsen, where I’d ended up feeling duped upon believing the author’s crazy, conspiracy filled epilogue that came unexpectedly after a sound, level-headed, research filled history of the notorious area. Curious, I Googled the title and was shocked at how much controversy surrounded its release, despite Jacobson conveying her theories as sound fact.  Needless to say, I wasn’t surprised to find similar controversy surrounding this provocative concept from the New York Times and The Guardian, among many others. Overall, Blitzed was an intriguing look at drug use in the Third Reich, however read with a skeptical mind due to the generous leaps Ohler took in assigning causation instead of correlation.

Buy Blitzed here!




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