From 1933- 1945 Adolf Hitler was the Chancellor of Germany, and leader of the Nazi Party. He was at the center of World War ll and the Holocaust. Hitler was the pivotal decision maker for all aspects of the war effort. He was known for being a dynamic speaker, and strong leader. It seemed that Hitler was a healthy man, he abstained from using alcohol, nicotine and ate a low calorie diet. (Neumann,Eberle 74) However, behind this strong facade, there was a sometimes sickly man. It can be confirmed that Hitler suffered from few illnesses and afflictions. They include: Gastrointestinal cramps, irritable bowel syndrome, a tremor in his left hand and leg (possible Parkinson’s disease), high blood pressure, and coronary sclerosis (Neumann,Eberle 186). He often had trouble sleeping. There is no scientific evidence that Hitler suffered from a mental illness (Neumann, Eberle 186). Hitler surrounded himself with over eight doctors and specialists. The closest of these men to the dictator was named Dr. Theodor Morell, he was Hitler’s personal physician. Morell was the one with whom Hitler spent most time, and allowed the most contact. Morell kept records on “patient F”, going into moderate details about aliments, mood, and medications.
The “medicine cabinet” of Adolf Hitler was extensive. All in all, he had about “82 different drugs in the forms of injection or oral administration” (Neumann, Eberle 75). They ranged from vitamins and drops to painkillers and methamphetamines. Hitler was a difficult patient, often described in Morell’s records. He believed the only truly effective method of treatment was injections. Hence, some describe Morell as “Reich Minister of Injections” (Neumann,Eberle 75). Some of the most widely examined drugs that Hitler used were Pervitin, Eukodal and cocaine. Pervitin, as stated earlier, is a form of methamphetamine, used to decrease fatigue. Eukodal is morphine derivative, used as an analgesic (pain killer)(Neumann, Eberle 82). Cocaine solution was used to reduce the swelling of Hitler’s nasal cavities or as eye drops (Neumann, Eberle 102).
The extent to which Hitler took Pervitin is widely disputed. Some believe that he was addicted to the substance, while others agree that it was only used on occasion and that there was no evidence of addiction. The extent to which Morell’s records are accurate, is also disputed. Would Morell not include all information in his records? Were some drugs forgotten in the transcripts? If Hitler did have a drug problem, it is safe to assume that it would be in Morell’s best interest to hide it, thus skewing the records. These are all things to consider when discussing this topic.
It is known that Hitler took Vitamultin tablets. Vitamultin tablets are essentially multi-vitamin tablets. Their ingredients were a closely guarded secret, and they had been re-synthesized in Morell’s research laboratory (Neumann,Eberle 90) Vitamultin tablets may have all contained Pervitin, however, “it is certain that batches contained caffeine and some Pervitin.” These tablets were used on July 19th 1943, when Hitler met with Mussolini in Treviso. He took them in order to prepare for the meeting (Neumann, Eberle 97). It is alleged that Hitler took them often as a stimulant (Neumann, Eberle 97). However, “there is no indication that Hitler was only able to conduct his daily meetings because he took Pervitin or that his insane ideas–were hatched under the influences of this drug”(Neumann, Eberle 99). After all these years and with secrecy being a top priority to Hitler and Morell, it is almost impossible to determine with absolute certainty the extent of Hitler’s use of Pervitin.
Eukodal is a fast acting morphine analgesic. It is discussed here because it has the ability to cause dependence. As Hitler’s tremors worsened in 1943 and 1944, he was given numerous injection of Eukodal or Eupaverin (Neumann,Eberle 101). It is possible that these injections “led to euphoria and loss of inhibitions.” (Neumann, Eberle 101) However, it seems that Hitler was not given Eukodal unless it was medically necessary. Because of this, many scholars believe that Hitler was not addicted to Eukodal.
The extent to which Hitler used cocaine solution is another area up for debate. Hitler’s ear, nose and throat doctor, Dr. Ewin Geising, alleged that he used cocaine solution on Hitler to reduce swelling in his nasal cavities. Geising said that he believed that Hitler was on his way to being an addict, and that the solution was given on a daily basis for a few months (Neumann, Eberle 103). However, Geising is not seen as a credible witness because of circumstance surrounding his dismissal from his position. Also, Morell’s records show no such applications ever occurred. The only time that cocaine solution was ever mentioned, was three times, all in the form of eye drops. (Neumann,Eberle 103).
For all intensive purposes, Hitler was not healthy. In order to sleep, eat, or function properly, he required consistent medical care from Dr. Morell and numerous types of drugs. It is clear that in some cases, Hitler overused different types of medications. However, with the evidence currently available that we not have, we can not tell for certain whether or not Hitler had a substance abuse problem or whether he was psychologically or physically dependent on any drug. The implications of finding the truth of this matter are huge, his decisions and states of mind could have been altered by not just the side effects of the drugs he was taking, but also by the consistency that he fell ill.