How Dr. Morell Made Hitler A Cocaine Junkie

By Bundesarchiv - CC BY-SA 3.0 de
By Bundesarchiv - CC BY-SA 3.0 de

By Elaine Fields Smith

At last, a reasonable explanation for dictator Adolf Hitler’s maniacal behavior. The Fuhrer was on drugs thanks to Dr. Theodor Morell. Plagued with intestinal distress for most of his life, when Hitler met the charismatic doctor at a party in 1936, he was promised instant relief.  Morell had a reputation of treating an upscale clientele and his unconventional attitudes toward medicine enthralled the Nazi leader. Hitler’s own personal photographer claimed to be cured by Morell and recommended him highly.

First the good doctor treated Hitler’s digestive system with his own company’s prescription called Mutaflor which contained bacteria from the fecal matter of “a Bulgarian peasant of the most vigorous stock.” As is usual with intestinal problems, those problems soon passed. But Hitler was sure the Mutaflor was a magical drug. Thus began his complete trust of Dr. Morell, and soon the injections began.

During the late 1930’s Dr. Morell injected Hitler several times per day with a mysterious concoction he would not explain beyond claiming they contained glucose and vitamins. But when a haggard and exhausted Fuhrer would wake in the morning he could barely raise his head. The doctor’s injection instantly revived the Nazi leader and he would be fully awake, talking, and sitting up in bed. No time lag for the glucose to be absorbed. People in the room saw an immediate and profound reaction to the shot.

According to a 47 page dossier compiled by the United States after World War II from eyewitness accounts and Dr. Morell’s personal records, it is now clear those injections contained methamphetamine. That’s right; the same stuff which ruins lives and families in the present time was being injected into the German leader’s veins. In fact, over time the Fuhrer became rather immune to the effects, forcing Dr. Morell to increase the dosages. By late 1944 those injections contained upwards of 700 times more meth than the first doses. No wonder he was a raving maniac.

Dr. Morell
Dr. Morell

The report also stated Hitler was likely high on one of these injections during a filmed session with Mussolini in 1943 where he rambled and spoke gibberish while shaking almost uncontrollably. Sounds like a junkie, all right. And he was the leader of a country at war to take over the world.  Why not a little help through drugs? It is well known Herman Goering, the second in command of the Reich, was a morphine addict. Soldiers were given Pervitin, an amphetamine stimulant with the battlefield name of “Panzerschokolade” or “tank chocolate,” to boost their energy.

Beside the injections, the Nazi leader’s other doctors, who were suspicious of Dr. Morell providing over 100 pills to Hitler per week, picked one in particular to test. Perhaps it stood out being in a small tin container such as breath mints might be packaged and labeled. “Dr. Koester’s Anti-Gas Pills” displayed the ingredients gentian, belladonna, and extract of nux vomica. The real doctors knew what nux vomica was where Dr. Morell did not: a seed which contains a large amount of strychnine.

The belladonna was known to cause excitement, confusion, hallucinations and even death if ingested in large amounts. Hitler’s surgeons were appalled and report their findings to the leader. He responded by firing them and defending Morell. He was known to have said, “I myself always thought they were just charcoal tablets for soaking up my intestinal gasses, and I always felt rather pleasant after taking them.” Hallucinations might actually feel good to a certifiable crazy person.

Hitler with his staff. Morell is the fourth starting right. By Bundesarchiv – CC BY-SA 3.0 de
Hitler with his staff. Morell is the fourth starting right. By Bundesarchiv – CC BY-SA 3.0 de

Toward the end of Hitler’s regime, Dr. Morell was still there, injecting and pumping into the Fuhrer a cocktail of over sixty different drugs including barbiturate tranquilizers, morphine and in combinations Dr. Morell always referred to as “What he needs.”  The aforementioned dossier stated Hitler was also injected with extracts from bull’s testicles to boost his libido and help create a more manly figure in public. What some men will do to get attention!

Dr. Morell himself wasn’t the picture of health. Morbidly obese, generally unkempt and dirty, the wafting of his revolting body odor and his own bad breath and flatulence problem cleared a path to Hitler. Even Eva Braun couldn’t stomach the Doctor and Hitler’s chief architect described Morell in this manner: “He has an appetite as big as his belly and gives not only visual but audible expression of it.” No wonder he had influence over Hitler, no one could stand being with Morell. The Nazi leader was quoted as saying, “I do not employ him for his fragrance, but to look after my health.”  So Dr. Morell stayed.

Toward the end of the war, Hitler demonstrated even more pronounced evidence of drug use. His stubborn decisions cost hundreds of thousands of lives in fighting the Russians. With trembling in his legs and tremors in his hands, Hitler also displayed other symptoms of prolonged use of amphetamines. His circulatory system and heart had deteriorated and probably experienced a heart attack in 1943.

Dr. Morell remained at Hitler’s side in the fuhrerbunker below Berlin until almost the last days of the Fuhrer’s life. The Nazi leader seemed to accept his fate, sending his favorites out of Berlin to safety. Paranoid than Morell might inject something into him so his followers could spirit him away from the bunker, Hitler finally fired the doctor. Morell probably was fairly happy about that, as bombs were dropping on the city twenty-four hours per day.

The “Reich Injection Master,” as Herman Goering called Dr. Morell, escaped Berlin, but checked into a hospital with heart pains. It was there he was arrested by the Americans. He was not guilty of any war crimes, the investigators announced, and he was released. The unconventional doctor who punctured almost every inch of on the Adolf Hitler’s body died of a stroke in 1948.

Last Film Of Hitler

This propaganda footage, shot right before the fall of the Third Reich, was supposed to be destroyed. And for good reason – it reveals the medical condition Hitler tried to hide.

Elaine Smith

Elaine Smith is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE