How the Nazis Gave Us Crystal Meth
As if the Third Reich didn’t do enough damage, Der Spiegel says, the offshoot of Hitler’s military pep pills are still around, ruining lives
Pervitin was supplied to the German military for decades — West Germany stopped giving to solders in the 1970s, and East Germany followed suit in 1988. “But its meteoric rise as an illegally produced drug had only just begun,” Fabienne says. An excerpt:
The drug’s new career came thanks to an American cookbook. In the United States, where meth use is widespread today, illegal methamphetamine was initially more an exception than the rule. Then, starting in the late 1970s, motorcycle gangs such as the Hells Angels discovered crystal meth as a source of income and began setting up large-scale drug labs….
Methamphetamine was no longer a powder compressed into tablets, but instead sold in crystal form, and few people knew how to produce these crystals. That changed when a mad-scientist type named Steve Preisler, alias “Uncle Fester,” a chemist in Wisconsin in the mid-1980s, published a drug “cookbook” entitled “Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture.”