Was Hitler High?

A new book by Norman Ohler makes sensational claims that not only Adolf Hitler, but much of the civilian population of Nazi Germany, was high on drugs. While there is evidence that methamphetamines (e.g. Pervitin)  were extensively used by the armed forces, it is...

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Food Insecurity Japan

Although Japan had become an industrialized nation in the early 20th century, it remained resource poor. Prior to WWII, limited efforts were made to raise agricultural production, but land reform that would increase tenure for the peasantry was firmly resisted by the...

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Food Rationing Germany

  Rationing was introduced in Germany shortly before the outbreak of war in 1939. Initially, clothing, shoes, leather, soap and most foodstuffs were rationed. Many homes and apartments were heated with steam radiators that required coal burning hot water heaters....

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▶Food is Ammunition

This WWII government film, with very explicit recommendations, emphasizes good nutrition as a weapon of war. "Eventual victory in this war may depend on what we eat." Although rationing was imposed in the USA, food insecurity was never an issue for Americans during...

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FDR’s Disability

In the summer of 1921, at the age of 39, Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) had the sudden onset of low back pain, muscle weakness and the inability to bear his own weight. After several misdiagnoses (blood clot, tumor) and ineffective therapies (massage, hot baths), he...

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WWII and PTSD

Did WWII vets have less PTSD? We all know the stereotype. Veterans of the Greatest Generation fought for a noble cause and had few after effects when they returned to civilian life. Although “shell shock” and “combat fatigue” had been identified in previous wars, the...

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Crystal Meth – Nazi Germany

When the German pharmaceutical company Temmler Werke released a methamphetamine compound  in 1938, a Wehrmacht (German army) physiologist recognized its potential application in wartime.  After a study demonstrated that the drug increased productivity...

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Der Führer Hates Smoking

“Brother national socialist, do you know that your Führer is against smoking and thinks that every German is responsible to the whole people for all his deeds and omissions, and does not have the right to damage his body with drugs?” "Nazi Germany was governed by a...

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M1 Garands & Cigarettes

  During WWII the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company ran a series of advertisements with unsubstantiated claims that Camel cigarettes had the best taste and throat comfort. This ad suggests that Camels were also the favorite of the soldier who fires the M1 Garand. It...

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Goebbels on Food Rationing

  Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels wrote a weekly column in the newspaper Das Reich. In March 1942, he alerted the German public to a pending cut in food rationing. Goebbels stated that food shortage resulted from two years of bad harvests, military food...

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Army Nurse Corps

  The Army Nurse Corps had fewer than 1,000 nurses on  December 7, 1941 Six months after the Pearl Harbor attack, there were 12,000 nurses on duty in the Army Nurse Corps. Few of them had previous military experience, and the majority were unfamiliar with Army methods...

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Birth Control – USA

Anti-birth control laws originating in 1873 with the Comstock Act, had their first legal challenge with Margaret Sanger’s  arrest in 1916 for opening a birth control clinic. The 1918 Crane decision allowed women to use birth control for therapeutic purposes. In 1936,...

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Medical Education USA

After publication of the Flexner report in 1910, admission and graduation requirements for U.S. medical schools became very rigorous, and adherence to the scientific method in patient care and research was emphasized. Many medical schools were closed and most that met...

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Japanese Medical Schools

In pre-WWII Imperial Japan there were 18 university-based medical schools with high academic standards. Prerequisite for admission were 6 years of primary school, 5 of middle school and 3 years of special science in a higher school or a university preparatory school....

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Alcoholics Anonymous

The Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program toward achieving sobriety was founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob...

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Radio Gymnastics Japan

                    Inspired by similar broadcasts on American radio, early morning calisthenic exercises set to music were broadcast on public NHK Radio in Japan. These morning exercises are still popular...

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