Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Trailer Park Tuesday: Blitzed by Norman Ohler

Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesday, a showcase of new book trailers and, in a few cases, previews of book-related movies.

There are many words we can use to describe Third Reich Nazis: thugs, torturers, murderers, exterminators. Now, thanks to Norman Ohler’s new book, we can add one more: pill-popping drug fiends. It’s a subject that rarely, if ever, comes up when we talk about Germany’s powerful elite in the 1930s and 40s. “I think historians have been afraid to touch it,” Ohler says in the video for Blitzed (a marvelous title full of double meaning). I like this trailer for several reasons, including the fact that even though the majority of the two-minute running length is little more than Ohler talking to the camera, instead of the traditional interview filmed in a safe, sedate studio, he’s shown out on a busy street buffeted by gusts of windthe kind of place where a Nazi drug deal might have gone down 80 years ago. “We don’t look at how drugs shape history,” Ohler notes. And that’s very true. “Adolf Hitler, Tweaker” is not something you’ll find in too many history textbooks. When he was told Nazis “took loads of drugs,” Ohler thought it would be a good idea for his next novel. But after doing research in the archives, he discovered the truth was stranger than fiction. Though it would be wrong to solely blame meth for Nazi atrocities, surely the drugs played some sort of role in what happened during World War Two. As Ohler dug deeper into the subject, the book gradually came together. And now, as of last week, we can all go get Blitzed in the bookstore.

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