Samstag, 31. Dezember 2011

Nazis tested cocaine on camp inmates

Jeevan Vasagar in Berlin
from The Guardian November 19, 2002

Nazi researchers used concentration camp inmates to test a cocaine-based "wonder drug" they hoped would enhance the performance of German troops, it was reported yesterday.

Prisoners at Sachsenhausen who were given the drug, code-named D-IX, were forced to march in circles carrying 20kg packs. They were able to march 55 miles without resting.

The German news magazine Focus quoted an eye-witness report by a prisoner who wrote: "At first the members of the punishment battalion whistled and sang songs. [But] most of them had collapsed after the first 24 hours."

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Sachsenhausen concentration camp

The pills contained a mix of cocaine, the amphetamine pervitin and a morphine-related painkiller, according to Focus, which said that Nazi scientists began experimenting with the drug in 1944.

It was hoped the drug would give soldiers almost unlimited fighting powers at a time when the German armies were in retreat.

The researcher Wolf Kemper, who uncovered the project, said: "The aim was to use D-IX to redefine the limits of human endurance."

Nazi doctors were enthusiastic about the results, and planned to supply all German troops with the pills, but the war ended before D-IX could be put into mass production.

Hitler was against drug use, particularly condemning the use of cocaine, a popular society drug in the 1920s that the Nazis called "devil's stuff".

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"NaZis on Speed"

But the Third Reich did not have the same scruples when it came to military use of drugs. Amphetamines were mass-produced for use at the front, the same article reported.

Despite doctors' warnings about their side-effects, amphetamine pills were in every first-aider's kit to give to exhausted soldiers.

symbols_nazi_symbols.jpg (JPEG-Grafik, 353x512 Pixel) - Skaliert (87%)

Hitler had split personality

His doctor's opinion

Tuesday 22 May 1945

Hitler's half-Jewish personal physician, Dr. Theodor Morell, said to-day that during the last days before the fall of Berlin Hitler feared that he would be drugged and carried away forcibly from the capital. He does not believe that Hitler committed suicide because Hitler was not that type.

Dr. Morell, who is 59, examined Hitler daily for nine years. Now bedridden and gravely ill himself, Dr. Morell has a dread of all uniforms. He collapsed in a coma at Hitler's feet in the Chancellery shelter when Hitler yelled at him:

  • "You think I am crazy. You will try to give me morphine. Get out of here; you are sacked. Get that medical uniform off. Go home and act as if you had never had anything to do with me." Dr. Morell flew from Berlin on April 22. He denied that Hitler chewed carpets, but said that he flew into rages; particularly as the war went on. Still more terrifying were Hitler's angry silences. "Hitler would go as white as a sheet and tightly clench his jaws, while his eyes would dilate," said the doctor. "Everyone in his entourage would get panicky because these fits were always followed by an order to dismiss or to execute somebody." But Hitler once complained: "My orders are never fulfilled."

"Nothing can happen to me"

Dr. Morell attended him after the attempt on his life. he found Hitler sitting with singed hair, torn uniform, and blood on his face, banging his knees with both hands. "Just think of it, doctor," he exclaimed, "nothing can happen to me." His eardrums were ruptured and gave trouble later. Hitler seemed to have a split personality, one half iron will, determination, forcefulness and cruelty, the other uncertainty, fits of depression, and shyness, particularly with women.

Eva Braun was generally accepted by Hitler's entourage as his wife. Dr. Morell was convinced that Hitler led a normal married life with here. But Braun kept very much in the background and few people saw her. Hitler warned the Doctor never to discuss his ailments with anyone else. "If you do I will regard it as high treason, which is punishable by death," Hitler said.

In the last days everyone tried to persuade Hitler to leave Berlin, but he grew more and more excited and stubborn. Dr. Morell reluctantly agreed to suggest to Hitler an injection of glucose in the veins to calm him. This caused Hitler to fly into a rage, suspecting he was to be drugged.

Dr. Morell's relations with Hitler had become strained after Morell attended the funeral of his brother, who was not a Nazi party member. After that, when he reminded Hitler of a promise to have an X-ray examination, Hitler shouted: "Do you think I am a silly young fool?" Hitler was obsessed with the fear of cancer and had severe digestive troubles, said Morell.,,127827,00.html