DATELINE: Deadline Pep!
Holland Invades Germany!
We never heard of this PBS marvel of history documentaries. It sounds like a bad show from the History Channel, something morbid about ghosts or Egyptian mummies. It is entitled Secrets of the Dead!
Of course, it is none of the above. It is an intelligent look at historical events, uncovering little known information and formulating new theory.
For this episode from Season 17, it is called World War Speed. It is about the shocking notion of amphetamine usage during the second World War!
What’s worse, who suspected that the governments of England, United States, and Nazi Germany, condone and required drugs to stimulate the soldiers.
We’d like to think that only craven Hitler demanded his soldiers take amphetamines to remain awake for days: like good Aryan supermen.
However, Generals Montgomery and Einsenhower learned of the practice and decided it was a good strategy. You see, not only did it keep men awake but made them act out in deranged, but heroic ways. Men would volunteer for death missions and do utterly suicidal actions.
Hitler had experimented on victims of concentration camps to see how the pep pills effected people who were starving to death. However, even Hitler decided the side-effects were too grave to continue on his army. Not so with the American and British.
They gave pep pills to men in tanks that were deathtraps. It gave them courage beyond logic. We are horrified to think that this show, hosted by James Holland who most recently worked on the History Channel “Hunting Hitler”—and he has not lost his yellow journalism style here.
It is appalling to think that innocent young men had no idea that “pep pills” drugged them out of their minds.
We may tune into this series again. It is a shocker and provides teachable moments.