Blitzed: The Drugs in the Third Reich

BlitzedReviewed by: Demetrius Svette

There are plenty of books explaining the rise and the fall of the Third Reich in Germany with economic devastation and nationalism being the most cited as a contributing factor to many of them; but are there any books that go in depth on a personal level instead of an overall point of view? Thanks to Norman Ohler, there is now. Ohler is so creative in his writing, I just could not put this book down- every turning of the page fills your mind with more knowledge and more information of the Reich’s influences that destroyed it all.

Ohler presents his findings in such a way that it feels like it could change history; from the rise of the Reich in 1933 to its downfall in 1945, but through the creation and consumption of drugs. From drugs like pervitin, better known as the people’s drug with methamphetamine as its active ingredient, to mainstream companies that are major players in the pharmaceutical world even today- like Merck, Boehringer and Knoll (who was sold to Abbott Laboratories in 2002)- the creations of the many drugs and different raw material came to matter. The Reich was the controller of the global cocaine market at its highest point with a whopping eighty percent of the cocaine and raw materials coming from Germany as the slogan “Made in Germany” became a guarantee of quality more than anything else.

Pervitin became a routine “grocery item” well before the war in the civilian population with Nazis ordering “Germany, awake!” The methamphetamine made sure that the country stayed awake. “The ‘doping mentality’ spread into every corner of the Reich.” Ohler writes, “With pervitin taken since the Invasion of Poland to the blitzkrieg on France, methamphetamine was spreading like wildfire and would pass through every barracks gate. War was seen as a task that needed to be worked though and the drug seemed to help the tank units, soldiers, the navy and kamikazes not to worry too much about what they were doing in these foreign countries.” The soldiers were suggested as being animated engines; could this of been what they were talking about with the “super soldiers” of World War II?

The main characters in this fascinating adventure that turns the tables on the Third Reich on a personal level is Adolf Hitler and his personal physician, Dr. Theodor Morell with Hitler falling very ill; he was better known as Patient A in Dr. Morell’s diary. Ohler writes in detail about Hitler’s drug use throughout the war, which began with the powerful injection of glucose and vitamins before his speeches to help him ramp up the Nazi followers. The drugs Hitler were taking became more potent with cocktails made up of hormones, steroids and vitamins until in his last year, where he peaked at using both cocaine and eukodal. Ohler suggests with his findings that Patient A was not Dr. Morell’s only guinea pig and that throughout World War II, Germany was fighting a whole different war within.

Between the books that I have read on World War II already and Ohler’s telling of events, it almost gives off that warped feeling and really makes you think how different it would have been if Dr. Morell was not involved with Hitler, doping him up every time he requested. Could Hitler and his cult like Nationalism still be around today? Could he have succeeded in world domination like he and the Nazis were after?

Ohler is a longtime journalist who spent 5 years researching Blitzed in numerous archives across Germany and the United States. He adds in his bibliography the most important sources that he used for the book are unpublished documents; archives opened especially for this research. Unpublished material, countless reports and files from German and American state archives have been complemented by interviews with contemporary witnesses and military historians to support his research. In this context he pointed out the aspects of Third Reich still cannot be consulted in London archives; and in Moscow, access to researches in the secret archives of the former Soviet Union are still severely restricted. Any type of World War ll history buff, historians, or those who just love learning should have this on their bookshelf right next to The Rise and Fall of Third Reich by William H. Shirer.

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Addicted

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*This book does contain mature content.

Addicted is a new novella from E.V. Belle that follows Rose, a nineteen year old college student, and her encounter with the mysterious Asher. When she receives her first message from Asher on Study Buddy, she’s in disbelief that someone as handsome as Asher could want anything to do with her. She quickly gets pulled into this all-consuming budding relationship- finding herself addicted to Asher but is he as addicted to her as she is to him? What happens when Rose finds out that there’s more to Asher than what she think she knows, can she overcome these new aspects to him that she has no clue of? This novella does contain mature content, it gets graphic when describing the steamy scenes. I loved the way Ms. Belle wrote the steamy scenes- not too overpowering but still enough to get it hot, and the story line flowed easily. The only thing I didn’t like is about Addicted is that it was too short, I would have loved to have known what else happens but I’d like to think that Ms. Belle is keeping us on a cliffhanger because she plans to do another Rose/Asher story line; I know I would like to see more!

Spot: A Sea Pup’s Survival Guide

Spot-cover_art.jpgSpot: A Sea Pup’s Survival Guide by Laura Knight is a wonderful interactive book for young children to learn about the importance of taking care of the the world’s oceans. This book follows along Spot, a young sea lion, who is having a great time with his sea lion buddies until finds himself in trouble when he gets tangled up into some nets and trash that have polluted the ocean. The illustrations of Spot are very colorful and captures the kids attention while the pictures of real sea life provides fun facts for them to learn about the oceanic environment. I have a 3 and a 4 year old, and they absolutely loved it; they sat down with us the whole time to read- which is quite a feat considering they love to listen to us read but like to bounce around from one thing to the next while we have story time. The end of the book includes some activities to get children more involved including asking questions, how to spot what trash is and if it should be on the ground or in the ocean and a creative activity to show how the act of kindness works to make the world a better place. This book is meant for young children, the author recommends 3-7 years, but if we can teach our children to care about the world at a younger age, then maybe we as the human race can really start to protect our planet; after all, this is the only world we have and if we aren’t going to take care of it, who will?

Swish & Squeaks Noisy Day

 

*This book was provided for an honest review

Reviewed by: Jetana Mutter

Swish & Squeak’s Noisy Day by Birgitta Sif is a unique children’s story that follows a typical day for two mice that are sisters. We follow them from waking up in the morning to school for the day, and then to the fun afterschool activities before finally getting to bedtime. This story is full of all kinds of noises that children will love to imitate. How do I know? My two toddlers love to follow along with each page just to hear the different sounds that they can make while it’s being read to them, making the book interactive between parents and their kids. The pictures have a hand drawn look to them which most children’s books don’t use anymore so in my opinion, it helps to make Swish and Squeak stand out. The pages are very colorful to look at so it keeps the children interested in looking at the book at the same time as listening to it being read to them. Registering in at only twenty-three pages, it is perfect for a short story on nights where your child is already ready for bed or even for those toddlers just learning how to read on their own.

This Book Will Not be Fun

 

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*This book was provided for an honest review

Reviewed by: Jetana Mutter

This fantastic book will take you on an adventure with an educated mouse whose main mission is to not have a good time; in fact it will be boring at first.  He is so persistent not to have fun and be bored out of his mind that while you venture off on this quest, you are distracted by the antics of a word-eating flying whale and the mouse assures you this is normal and perfectly okay.  Nothing can get to him at all until he finds some fantastical creatures and stumbles across a dance party, as he cannot resist shaking and twisting to the beat of the song.  The artwork in explaining this story along the way is colorful and whimsical; this is one clever book if I say so myself.  Why? Well, after wiggling a bit more, the mouse returns to his natural state and lets you know he had fun and a great time though the readers may have not.  The challenge he faces throughout is the laughter and joy you will come to enjoy.  I will have to tell you for adults and the young readers alike they will not have fun, as the title suggests.

Where Are You?

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*This book was provided for an honest review

Reviewed by: Jetana Mutter

         Where Are You? by Sarah Williamson is a brightly colored seek and find children’s book that features a green worm that is trying to find it’s pink worm friend. The book is small but perfect length for the intended audience. Where Are You teaches young children how to observe the pictures and encourages them to seek out the pink worm while teaching some descriptive words- like under the bridge, with the fish, I don’t see you and many more. We got this book yesterday and my three-year-old loves for us to read it; although, after two times of reading he has memorized where the worms are located- to make it a little more challenging, we have decided to have the kids find both worms- still, it is quickly becoming a new favorite among the kids. With the simplicity of the pictures and the words, it might fade as quickly as the love for it started; but until then, my children will keep enjoying it- even if the adults tire of it quickly.