Wednesday, November 12, 2008

At Least The Nazis Got Something Right

Thank you, Wikipedia, for Today's Featured Article, which is titled "Anti-tobacco movement in Nazi Germany." Because courtesy of this article, I have just learned that, aside from the oft-mentioned "making the trains run on time," Hitler was apparently a pioneer in smoking research. See, the Nazis weren't all bad.

Research on smoking and its effects on health thrived under Nazi rule[6] and was the most important of its type at that time.[7] Hitler's personal distaste for tobacco[8] and the Nazi reproductive policies were among the motivating factors behind their campaign against smoking, and this campaign was associated with both antisemitism and racism.[9]

Adolf Hitler was a heavy smoker in his early life—he used to smoke 25 to 40 cigarettes daily—but gave up the habit, concluding it was a waste of money.[8] In later years, Hitler viewed smoking as "decadent"[12] and "the wrath of the Red Man against the White Man, vengeance for having been given hard liquor",[8] lamenting that "so many excellent men have been lost to tobacco poisoning".[16]

Smoking was also outlawed in bomb shelters; however, some shelters had separate rooms for smoking.[4]

After the collapse of Nazi Germany at the end of World War II, American cigarette manufactures quickly entered the German market. Illegal smuggling of tobacco became prevalent,[44] and leaders of the Nazi anti-smoking campaign were silenced.[6] In 1949, approximately 400 million cigarettes manufactured in the United States entered Germany illegally every month. In 1954, nearly two billion Swiss cigarettes were smuggled into Germany and Italy. As part of the Marshall Plan, the United States sent free tobacco to Germany; the amount of tobacco shipped into Germany in 1948 was 24,000 tons and was as high as 69,000 tons in 1949. The Federal government of the United States spent $70 million on this scheme, to the delight of cigarette manufacturing companies in the United States, who profited hugely.[44]
U.S.A.! U.S.A.!


yoggoth said...

I think this should read "see, the Nazis weren't all bad. But I'll leave that up to the discretion of the author.

Little Earl said...

Consider my discretion exercised.

(Editor's note: the original sentence ran "See? The Nazis weren't all that bad."