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The Nazi/I.G. Farben Origins of Recreational Street Drugs

Phys­i­o­log­i­cal effects of metham­phet­a­mine

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COMMENT: It is more than a lit­tle inter­est­ing to note how many of the street drugs that have ruined the lives of Amer­i­can cit­i­zens (and cit­i­zens of oth­er coun­tries) have their ori­gins with the Third Reich and/or I.G. Far­ben.

Der Spiegel recent­ly report­ed on the ori­gins of metham­phet­a­mine, the crys­talline form of which is rav­aging lives across Amer­i­ca and the rest of the world, as well as enrich­ing orga­nized crime syn­di­cates, includ­ing neo-Nazi linked orga­ni­za­tions.

Devel­oped as a stim­u­lant in 1938, it was used to enhance the per­for­mance of the Third Reich’s sol­diers and air­men, and remained in use by the Bun­deswehr and oth­er armies.

In past pro­grams, we’ve dis­cussed the ori­gins of hero­in and methadone (a syn­thet­ic opi­ate devel­oped by the Bay­er com­pa­ny and named “dolophine” in hon­or of Adolf Hitler. Hero­in was orig­i­nal­ly devel­oped by Bay­er as a cough sup­pres­sant, espe­cial­ly effec­tive in chil­dren.)

Many of the baby boomers spaced them­selves out on LSD in the 1960’s. That drug was devel­oped by Albert Hoff­man, who did the work while in the employ of San­doz, part of the I.G. Far­ben com­plex. LSD and oth­er psy­choac­tive drugs were used as part of the MK Ultra mind con­trol exper­i­men­ta­tion con­duct­ed by the CIA after World War II.

There are indi­ca­tions that San­doz con­tin­ued to func­tion in con­junc­tion with the Under­ground Reich after the war:

How the Nazis Gave Us Crys­tal Meth; [Der Spiegel]; Yahoo News; 5/31/2013.

EXCERPT: As if the Third Reich did­n’t do enough dam­age, Der Spiegel says, the off­shoot of Hitler’s mil­i­tary pep pills are still around, ruin­ing lives.

Many Amer­i­cans know about the scourge of crys­tal meth from the TV series “Break­ing Bad’, says Fabi­enne Hurst at Ger­many’s Der Spiegel. “But few know that the drug can be traced back to Nazi Ger­many, where it first became pop­u­lar as a way to keep pilots and sol­diers alert in bat­tle dur­ing World War II.” The drug was called Pervitin, a metham­phet­a­mine com­pound launched in 1938 by drug mak­er Temm­ler Werke. Almost imme­di­ate­ly, “high-rank­ing army phys­i­ol­o­gist Otto Ranke saw in it a true mir­a­cle drug that could keep tired pilots alert and an entire army euphor­ic. It was the ide­al war drug.” For many sol­diers, the high­ly addic­tive com­pound became a night­mare.

Pervitin was sup­plied to the Ger­man mil­i­tary for decades — West Ger­many stopped giv­ing to sol­ders in the 1970s, and East Ger­many fol­lowed suit in 1988. “But its mete­oric rise as an ille­gal­ly pro­duced drug had only just begun,” Fabi­enne says. An excerpt:

The drug’s new career came thanks to an Amer­i­can cook­book. In the Unit­ed States, where meth use is wide­spread today, ille­gal metham­phet­a­mine was ini­tial­ly more an excep­tion than the rule. Then, start­ing in the late 1970s, motor­cy­cle gangs such as the Hells Angels dis­cov­ered crys­tal meth as a source of income and began set­ting up large-scale drug labs....

Metham­phet­a­mine was no longer a pow­der com­pressed into tablets, but instead sold in crys­tal form, and few peo­ple knew how to pro­duce these crys­tals. That changed when a mad-sci­en­tist type named Steve Preisler, alias “Uncle Fes­ter,” a chemist in Wis­con­sin in the mid-1980s, pub­lished a drug “cook­book” enti­tled “Secrets of Metham­phet­a­mine Man­u­fac­ture.” . . .

The Crime and Pun­ish­ment of I.G. Far­ben; Joseph Borkin; Copy­right 1978 [HC] by The Free Press [a divi­sion of MacMil­lan]; ISBN 0–02–904630–0; pp. 6–7.

EXCERPT: . . . . Bayer’s phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal ven­ture was even larg­er [than that of Hoechst]. Out of its lab­o­ra­to­ries emerged aspirin, the world’s most famous home rem­edy for pain and fever. Bay­er was also respon­si­ble for the intro­duc­tion of hero­in, which it sold as a cure for mor­phine addic­tion and as a cough sup­pres­sant, espe­cially effec­tive in chil­dren. Lat­er the Bay­er lab­o­ra­to­ries devel­oped methadone, in prepa­ra­tion for World War II, as a syn­thetic sub­sti­tute for mor­phine. It was orig­i­nally named Dolophine, in hon­or of Adolf Hitler. Today, methadone is used prin­ci­pally in the treat­ment of hero­in addic­tion. . . .

 

Discussion

3 comments for “The Nazi/I.G. Farben Origins of Recreational Street Drugs”

  1. Some inter­est­ing stuff here. Dr. Hoff­man him­self reject­ed Nazism, but it is indeed inter­est­ing to note that, coin­ci­den­tal­ly, he just hap­pened to dis­cov­er the drug while work­ing for San­doz.

    As for meth, this is actu­al­ly a sur­prise to me: I had no idea it was first invent­ed in Ger­many until I read the Spiegel arti­cle today.

    So thanks for the post­ing. =)

    Posted by Steve L. | June 2, 2013, 10:11 pm
  2. Iron­i­cal­ly, LSD, along with Ibo­gaine is being researched as a cure for Hero­in addic­tion.

    Posted by Chris | June 3, 2013, 2:18 pm
  3. Thanks for post­ing... I am a deliv­ered meth addict over 10 years and found much of this info to be very help­ful.. I used much of this in my book.

    Posted by kimberly wolfgram | July 17, 2018, 8:51 am

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