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MESCALINE AND AUSCHWITZ

After the use of psychedelic substances has been repressed or oppressed for a long time in Western societies, in the second half of the 20th century different cultural movements spread. But, as an extreme antipole, the experiments with mescaline in the concentration camps of Dachau and Auschwitz predated this development ; they are the darkest chapter in the history of psychedelic substances: In both KZs mescaline has been given to the prisoners without their knowledge to evaluate the potential of the drug for a purposeful mental manipulation. The Nazis particularly wanted to test whether mescaline is applicable to break the resistance of prisoners. According to the inhuman ideology of fascism the health of the test subjects hasn’t been regarded.

After the Second World War the American intelligence service CIA explicitly tied up to the experiments in Dachau in several secret projects. In search of a “truth drug” the CIA experimented primarily with LSD. They searched not only for a substance that could be used in examinations but also as a drug to turn the enemy disorientated or unable to fight. While the CIA finally stopped the experiments with LSD because they were unsuccessful there were an increasing dissemination in the alternative culture with totally different aims at the same time. LSD, named Acid, and mescaline were used purposefully, especially in the emerging hippy movement, to open up new levels of perception and to break up internalised mechanism of control.