Chemical Carrot, Chemical Whip

Geoffrey Campbell Cocks

in The State of Health

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199695676
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738616 | DOI:
Chemical Carrot, Chemical Whip

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A commercial and consumer society began emerging in Germany before the First World War, and the German chemical and pharmaceutical industry was the most advanced in the world. By 1933, therefore, Germans had increasing expectations when it came to satisfaction of material demands and desires. While the Nazis placed arms production before consumer goods, marketing toward popular demand and need for pharmaceuticals continued through the Third Reich. Patients preferred doctors who would write prescriptions, but dispensing chemists and retail stores were also sources of drugs for self-medication. German Jews often resorted to an overdose of barbiturates or opiates to die a less painful death on their own terms. The military and industry used methamphetamines and other stimulants to enhance—not unproblematically—the performance of soldiers and workers. The SS, private industry, and the military also conducted often lethal drug tests on concentration camp prisoners.

Keywords: marketing; consumption; pharmaceuticals; prescriptions; self-medication; Jews and suicide; productivity; human experimentation; historical amnesia

Chapter.  14610 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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