Norman Ohler is a novelist and film maker. In 2017, Ohler’s first non-fiction book “Blitzed – Drugs in Nazi Germany” became a New York Times bestseller. It is an explosive true story which uncovers an untold aspect of what fueled the Nazi war machine during World War II.
It is currently translated into 31 languages, and optioned for a motion picture by Paramount.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A fast-paced narrative that discovers a surprising perspective on World War II: Nazi Germany’s all-consuming reliance on drugs
The Nazi regime preached an ideology of physical, mental, and moral purity. But as Norman Ohler reveals in this gripping new history, the Third Reich was saturated with drugs. On the eve of World War II, Germany was a pharmaceutical powerhouse, and companies such as Merck and Bayer cooked up cocaine, opiates, and, most of all, methamphetamines, to be consumed by everyone from factory workers to housewives to millions of German soldiers. In fact, troops regularly took rations of a form of crystal meth—the elevated energy and feelings of invincibility associated with the high even help to explain certain German military victories.
Drugs seeped all the way up to the Nazi high command and, especially, to Hitler himself. Over the course of the war, Hitler became increasingly dependent on injections of a cocktail of drugs—including a form of heroin—administered by his personal doctor. While drugs alone cannot explain the Nazis’ toxic racial theories or the events of World War II, Ohler’s investigation makes an overwhelming case that, if drugs are not taken into account, our understanding of the Third Reich is fundamentally incomplete.
Carefully researched and rivetingly readable, Blitzed throws surprising light on a history that, until now, has remained in the shadows.
Ian Kershaw, the British historian who is probably the world’s leading authority on Hitler and Nazi Germany, has described it as “a serious piece of scholarship”.
“An astonishing account that changes what we know about the Second World War.“ The Guardian
“Very good and extremely interesting … a serious piece of scholarship very well-researched.“ Ian Kershaw
“A fascinating, most extraordinary revelation.“ BBC World News
Norman speaking to camera on his book Blitzed – what it is about and why he wrote it.
1995 “Die Quotenmaschine” – the first internet novel world-wide
2001 “Mitte”, novel
2002 “Ponte City“, novel
2008 “Palermo Shooting”, film-script, co-written with Wim Wenders
2016 “Blitzed – Drugs in Nazi Germany”
2019 “The Bohemians – The Couple Who Led Germany’s Resistance against the Nazis”