FDR was the only World War II leader who wasn't impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Why is there a proliferation of TV documentaries like The History Channel’s World War II in Color and other programming that deal with the period?
Whenever a cable TV channel runs a documentary about the war, especially about Hitler and the Third Reich, its Nielsens ratings jump on average by 15 percent. In search of more Nielsen gold, documentary-makers have mined other topics that verge on self-parody such as Hitler’s Astrologers and Swimming in Auschwitz. What’s next? Hitler’s Hairdresser?
All of the top leadership of the warring nations were mentally or physically impaired, or both - with the arguable exception of Emperor Hirohito, who to stretch a point was height-challenged and less than the average 5’ 3” height of Japanese soldiers.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the healthiest of the war-time leaders but also handicapped after a bout with polio in 1921 turned him into a paraplegic whose wheelchair was rarely photographed by an accommodating press.
Was Joseph Stalin or Adolf Hitler the sickest leader during World War I? Since history, according to Winston Churchill, is written by the victors, Hitler has received worse press than Stalin if only because Hitler lost the war and Stalin won.
If there’s such a thing as comparative genocide, statistics indicate that Stalin was the worse monster. In the early 1930s, the Soviet dictator killed 20 million Ukrainian peasants called kulaks and countless others in the Soviet Union's worker’s paradise that was more like gulag hell. Hitler was responsible for the death of 12 million combatants and civilians. Both figures were compiled by historian Piero Scaruffi.
Did Stalin's alcoholism contribute to his psychopathic behavior?
Stalin created an artificial famine so wealthy peasants called kulaks couldn’t resist his expropriation or collectivization of kulak property. Starving people are also docile people.
The Soviet leader was a sociopath whose behavior was worsened by full-blown alcoholism. When he suffered a stroke in 1953 due to heavy drinking, the dictator's henchmen thought he had only passed out in an alcoholic stupor – as usual.
Certain that their boss was only sleeping off a hangover, his henchmen waited 24 hours before calling a doctor while one of the most powerful men in the world lay uncared for and unconscious in urine-soaked pajamas. Stalin died four days later. Sic transit gloria of monsters.
Dr. Theodor Morell, Hitler's personal physician and drug dealer
Hitler was a teetotaler and a vegetarian but pharmaceutically impaired. But three to four times a day, his quack personal physician, Theodor Morell, injected his only patient with amphetamines (speed), methamphetamine (crystal), morphine, steroids, and other ingredients too stomach-turning to repeat here. (Email me for the rest of the Fuehrer's daily cocktail at FSanello@aol.com.)
Adolf Hitler, 1889, future speed freak
Hitler became so dependent on narcotics which Morell told him were vitamins that the he kept the doctor by his side at all times. When jealous SS doctors warned Hitler that Morell was poisoning him with toxic drugs and urged him to dismiss the doctor, Hitler dismissed Morell’s SS rivals instead.
Morell’s hypodermic contained morphine; amphetamines (speed); methamphetamine (crystal); the popular bodybuilding steroid testosterone, which may have fueled his volcanic temper called “roid rage” today; sodium barbitone, a member of the family of drugs called barbiturates - Marilyn Monroe’s and Judy Garland’s fatal drugs of choice; and cocaine administered as eye drops, which can induce psychotic behavior, although Hitler was already psychotic before Morell became his physician.
The Nazi dictator’s pharmaceutical buffet of powerful stimulants and depressants may explain in part his volatile personality and self-defeating conduct during the war. Hitler diverted vital military transports – trains and trucks - in order to send Jews to death camps instead of using cattle cars to rush troops and matériel to the front.
The German response to the early morning D-Day invasion in June 1944 didn’t take place until much later that day after Hitler woke at noon following a hangover due to Dr. Morell’s injections.
Servants and advisors didn’t dare interrupt their leader’s beauty sleep. And the Fuehrerprinzip, which enshrined Hitler’s micromanagement style, mandated that no decision could be made without his consent.
Winston Churchill, functioning alcoholic?
Churchill was a night-owl who preferred to work until three or four in the morning, then sleep until 2 p.m., waking up just in time for a nap. Subordinates complained posthumously about their boss’s unusual work schedule which wreaked havoc on their circadian rhythms.
During the nervous, early days of WWII in 1940, Churchill passed out in an alcoholic stupor while delivering a speech in Parliament and had to be carried out of the chamber. When his primal enemy Stalin fainted after excessive drinking, his cronies were too terrified to touch him.
Some contemporaries attributed Churchill’s signature slurred speech to loose dentures, except that he didn’t wear false teeth.
Others recognized the real reason for his famous mush-mouthed oratorical style. Despite an indelible friendship forged by war and their gregarious personalities, President Roosevelt identified his ally’s alcohol abuse but tolerated it.
FDR told members of his cabinet, “I suppose Churchill is the best man that England has, even if he’s drunk half the time.”
Causes Frank Sanello Supports
ACLU, ASPCA, Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders