a prematurely aged Adolf Hitler (1945)
From 1942, the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler received daily injections of
methamphetamine from his personal physician, Dr Theodor Morell. The
Führer was also familiar with cocaine. Hitler's ailments have been
attributed to everything from tertiary syphilis to Parkinson's
disease. But many of The Führer's clinical signs and symptoms may have
been caused by his exotic drug regimen.
In Hitler's Wehrmacht, methamphetamine tablets branded as Pervitin
were liberally distributed to German fighting troops throughout the
War. Amphetamines are "power drugs" that reduce fatigue, heighten
aggression, and diminish human warmth and empathy.
How could Hitler continue to exert such a grip on the German people
until the last days of the War? Talking to a prison psychologist while
awaiting trial, ex-Governor General of Poland Hans Frank (1900-1946)
describes Hitler's charismatic effect on him...
"I can hardly understand it myself. There must be some basic evil in
me. In all men. Mass hypnosis? Hitler cultivated this evil in man.
When I saw him in that movie in court, I was swept along again for a
moment, in spite of myself. Funny, one sits in court feeling guilt and
shame. Then Hitler appears on the screen and you want to stretch out
your hand to him . . . . It's not with horns on his head or with a
forked tail that the devil comes to us, you know. He comes with a
captivating smile, spouting idealistic sentiments, winning one's
loyalty. We cannot say that Adolf Hitler violated the German people.
He seduced us."