Christiane F. – We Children from Bahnhof Zoo.

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If there is one book and movie that should be in the curriculum of every secondary school it is Christiane F. – We Children from Bahnhof Zoo.

The most famous heroin addict was still a child when she entered into the drug world. Her descent to heroin addiction and prostitution on the streets of West Berlin was turned into a book then a grim biopic in 1981.

This was also set in the background of the cold war and the divided city Berlin. Although East Berlin is always seen as a bleak place, the story of Christiane F. AKA Christiane Vera Felscherinow does paint a bleak picture of the Utopian version of West Berlin in the late 70s/early 80s.

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There are some that refer to its film adaption Christiane F. (1981) as the perfect piece of anti-heroin propaganda. Based on a true story, it’s a barren and hopeless depiction of youth lost – showing kids going through withdrawals and injecting in filthy public bathrooms. Immediately controversial on its release, some critics said the opposite – that it glamorised addiction, making teens think that a Bowie-soundtracked, opiate-induced haze is an ideal state of being.

Christiane Felscherinow was still a child when she became the most famous heroin addict in the world. Her descent, aged 13, into heroin addiction and prostitution on the streets of West Berlin

Thanks to a cameo from David Bowie and all the footage of disturbingly young people injecting heroin, the film quickly became a cult hit. And it wasn’t long before the real Christiane F was catapulted from a life of shooting up and turning tricks in West Berlin’s public toilets to becoming the so-called “junkie princess,” injecting heroin while hanging out with artists and celebrities in Los Angeles.

Felscherinow was born in Hamburg, but her family moved to West Berlin when she was a child. They settled in Gropiusstadt, a neighbourhood in Neukölln that consisted mainly of high-rise concrete apartment blocks where social problems were prevalent.

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Felscherinow’s father frequently drank large volumes of alcohol and was abusive towards his two daughters while her mother was absorbed by an extra-marital relationship.

When she was 12 years old, she began smoking hashish with a group of friends who were slightly older at a local youth club. They gradually began using stronger drugs such as LSD and various forms of pills and she ended up trying heroin. By the time she was 14, she was heroin-dependent and a prostitute, mainly at West Berlin’s then-largest train station Bahnhof Zoo.

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During this period, she became part of a group of teenage drug-users and sex workers of both sexes.

Two journalists from the news magazine Stern, Kai Hermann and Horst Rieck, met Felscherinow in 1978 in Berlin when she was a witness in a trial against a man who paid underaged girls with heroin in return for sex. The journalists wanted to disclose the drug problem among teenagers in Berlin, which was severe but also surrounded by strong taboos, and arranged a two-hour interview with Felscherinow. The two hours extended to two months, as Felscherinow provided an in-depth description of her life, as well as those of other teenagers, in West Berlin during the 1970s. The journalists subsequently ran a series of articles about her heroin use in Stern, based on the tape-recorded interviews with Felscherinow.

The interviews were extensive and the Stern publishing house eventually decided to publish the successful book Christiane F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo in 1979. The book chronicles Felscherinow’s life from 1975 to 1978, between the ages of 12 and 15 years, and depicts several of Felscherinow’s friends, along with other drug users, as well as scenes from typical locations of the Berlin drug scene at the time. The narrative of the book is in the first person, from Felscherinow’s viewpoint, but was written by the journalists functioning as ghostwriters. Others, such as Felscherinow’s mother and various people who witnessed the escalating drug situation in Berlin at the time, also contributed to the book.

After the initial success of the book and the film, Felscherinow found herself becoming something of a celebrity, both in Germany and other countries in Europe. A subculture of teenage girls in Germany began to emulate her style of dress and spent time around the Bahnhof Zoo, which became an unlikely tourist attraction. This development concerned drug experts in the youth field, who feared that, despite the film’s bleakness and numerous drug-related scenes (particularly those portraying the reality of heroin withdrawal), vulnerable teens might regard Felscherinow as a cult heroine and role model.

Staying true to the real-life account of Christiane’s first experience taking heroin at a David Bowie concert in Berlin, the musician offered to make an unexpected cameo in one of the most iconic scenes of the film – singing “Station to Station” on the smoky stage of a performance hall (which was actually recorded in New York), as the character watched him from the audience.

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The singer went on to be a big part of the film’s soundtrack, with “Heroes” becoming Christiane F.’s unofficial theme song, echoing through the halls as her and her friends run from the police. Bowie’s presence drew a lot of initially unexpected attention to the release, which would otherwise probably remain as a niche cult creation.

Bowie attended the premiere arm-in-arm with real-life Christiane – who later recounted how she had to take a lot of cocaine to get over her nerves, but also added the mystique disappeared in the light of real life.

Felschernirow contracted hepatitis C from an infected needle in the late 1980s. She suffers from cirrhosis of the liver and rejects interferon treatment because of the side effects.In 2013 Felschernirow stated: “I will die soon, I know that. But I haven’t missed out on anything in my life. I am fine with it. So this isn’t what I’d recommend: this isn’t the best life to live, but it’s my life”

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Drugs mule Paul McCartney

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I have to admit the title might be a bit harsh but I hope it got your attention.

Paul McCartney’s arrival at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport on January 16, 1980, marked his first visit to Japan since the Beatles tour of 1966. The occasion was a planned 11-city concert tour by his band Wings. Instead, Paul’s visit was limited to a nine-day stint in the Tokyo Narcotics Detention Center, which ended on this day in 1980.

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Paul McCartney’s previous application for a Japanese visa had been turned down in 1976. This time he was allowed into the country as it was a brief tour.

Upon their arrival at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, however, customs officials found 219 grammes of marijuana, with a street value of 600,000 yen, hidden in Paul’s luggage and inside the hood of one of his children.

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McCartney was arrested, handcuffed and questioned for an hour by narcotics control officers. It was then decided that further questioning would take place the following day.

The amount was large enough, however, to warrant a smuggling charge and a potential seven-year prison sentence. Given Japan’s reputation for rigorous enforcement of its strict anti-drug laws, it was by no means a foregone conclusion that McCartney would escape trial and possible imprisonment, yet he was released and quickly deported from Japan on January 25, 1980, prior to making any appearance in court.

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The arrest put the tour in jeopardy, and Wings’ music was immediately banned from all television and radio stations across Japan.

Wings’ Japanese promoters announced that a decision on the 11 concerts would be made the next day. On this evening they told reporters: Almost 100,000 tickets for the concerts have been sold, representing a possible loss of well over 100 million yen.”

McCartney was imprisoned for a total of 10 days until 25 January 1980. He was released without charge and deported to England.

The other members of Wings had left Japan on 21 January. The dates of the tour were to have been Budokan Hall, Tokyo (21-24 January), Aichi-Ken, Taiiku-Kan, Nagoya (25-26 January), Festival Hall, Osaka (28 January), Osaka Furitsu-Kan, Osaka (29 January), Budokan Hall, Tokyo (31 January to 2 February).

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Elvis Presley-Special Drugs Enforcement Federal Agent

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What do you need to do to become a special agent for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous

Well actually not that much. All you do is you book a flight to DC, on board you write a letter to the President of the USA.

Once you land you take a limo to the White House and drop the letters off.

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Well that’s what Elvis did and it worked out for him.

Elvis was traveling with some guns and his collection of police badges, and he decided that what he really wanted was a badge from the federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs back in Washington. “The narc badge represented some kind of ultimate power to him,” Priscilla Presley would write in her memoir, Elvis and Me. “With the federal narcotics badge, he believed he could legally enter any country both wearing guns and carrying any drugs he wished.

It all started a few days before the photo was taken. In December of 1970, Elvis Presley spent $100,000 on Christmas presents — 32 handguns and 10 Mercedes-Benzes. His wife, Priscilla, and his father both reprimanded the king, telling him that maybe $100,000 was a little much to spend all at once.

So, naturally, Elvis needed to get some space from all that negativity and did what anyone would do. He took his presents and hopped on the next available flight out of Memphis, and headed to Washington D.C. Then, he got bored and hopped on another flight to Los Angeles.

After just one day in Los Angeles, Elvis asked Schilling to fly with him back to the capital. “He didn’t say why,” Schilling recalls, “but I thought the badge might be part of the reason.”

On the red-eye to Washington, Elvis scribbled a letter to President Nixon. “Sir, I can and will be of any service that I can to help the country out,” he wrote. All he wanted in return was a federal agent’s badge. “I would love to meet you,” he added, informing Nixon that he’d be staying at the Washington Hotel under the alias Jon Burrows. “I will be here for as long as it takes to get the credentials of a federal agent.”

After they landed, Elvis and Schilling took a limo to the White House, and Elvis dropped off his letter at an entrance gate at about 6:30 a.m. Once they checked in at their hotel, Elvis left for the offices of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. He got a meeting with a deputy director, but not approval for a bureau badge.

Meanwhile, his letter was delivered to Nixon aide Egil “Bud” Krogh, who happened to be an Elvis fan. Krogh loved the idea of a Nixon-Presley summit and persuaded his bosses, including White House Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman, to make it happen. Krogh called the Washington Hotel and set up a meeting through Schilling.

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Around noon, Elvis arrived at the White House with Schilling and bodyguard Sonny West, who’d just arrived from Memphis. Arrayed in a purple velvet suit with a huge gold belt buckle and amber sunglasses, Elvis came bearing a gift—a Colt .45 pistol mounted in a display case that Elvis had plucked off the wall of his Los Angeles mansion.

Which the Secret Service confiscated before Krogh escorted Elvis—without his entourage—to meet Nixon.

“When he first walked into the Oval Office, he seemed a little awe-struck,” Krogh recalls, “but he quickly warmed to the situation.”

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While White House photographer Ollie Atkins snapped photographs, the president and the King shook hands. Then Elvis showed off his police badges.

Nixon’s famous taping system had not yet been installed, so the conversation wasn’t recorded. But Krogh took notes: “Presley indicated that he thought the Beatles had been a real force for anti-American spirit. The President then indicated that those who use drugs are also those in the vanguard of anti-American protest.”

“I’m on your side,” Elvis told Nixon, adding that he’d been studying the drug culture and Communist brainwashing. Then he asked the president for a badge from the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

“Can we get him a badge?” Nixon asked Krogh.

Krogh said he could, and Nixon ordered it done.

Elvis was ecstatic. “In a surprising, spontaneous gesture,” Krogh wrote, Elvis “put his left arm around the President and hugged him.”

Before leaving, Elvis asked Nixon to say hello to Schilling and West, and the two men were escorted into the Oval Office. Nixon playfully punched Schilling on the shoulder and gave both men White House cuff links.

“Mr. President, they have wives, too,” Elvis said. So Nixon gave them each a White House brooch.

After Krogh took him to lunch at the White House mess, Elvis received his gift—the narc badge.

At Elvis’ request, the meeting was kept secret. A year later, columnist Jack Anderson broke the story—“Presley Gets Narcotics Bureau Badge”—but few people seemed to care.

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Dr.Theodor Morell-Hitler’s personal physician.

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Theodor Gilbert Morell (22 July 1886 – 26 May 1948) was a German doctor known for acting as Adolf Hitler’s personal physician. Morell was well known in Germany for his unconventional treatments. He assisted Hitler daily in virtually everything he did for several years, and was beside Hitler until the last stages of the Battle of Berlin.

Hitler with his doctor Theodor Morell

Theodor Morell was born in Münzenberg on 22nd July 1890. His family was reportedly partly Jewish .After obtaining a medical degree he served as a ship’s doctor. He eventually established a practice in Berlin as a specialist in skin and venereal diseases. Many well-known actors and film stars were his patients. He told Albert Speer that he studied with Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov, the famous Russian biologist and Nobel Prize winner, who taught him the art of combating bacterial diseases.

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In 1935 Heinrich Hoffman, who worked as a photographer for Adolf Hitler, was treated by Morell for gonorrhea.

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Franziska Braun, the mother of Eva Braun, was also treated successfully by him. Hoffman and Braun told Hitler about this doctor and in 1936 he was asked to examine the leader of the Nazi Party. At the time Hitler was suffering from stomach cramps. According to Morell, this was being caused by “complete exhaustion of the intestinal system” and recommended treatment of vitamins, hormones, phosphorus, and dextrose.Through Morell’s prescriptions, a leg rash which Hitler had developed also disappeared. Hitler was convinced of Morell’s medical genius and Morell became part of his social inner circle.

Some historians have attempted to explain this by citing Morell’s reputation in Germany for success in treating syphilis, along with Hitler’s own (speculated) fears of the disease, which he associated closely with Jews. Others have commented on the possibility that Hitler had visible symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, especially towards the end of the war.

Hitler recommended Morell to others of the Nazi leadership, but most of them, including Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler, dismissed Morell as a quack. As Albert Speer related in his autobiography:

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In 1936, when my circulation and stomach rebelled…I called at Morell’s private office. After a superficial examination, Morell prescribed for me his intestinal bacteria, dextrose, vitamins and hormone tablets. For safety’s sake I afterward had a thorough examination by Professor von Bergmann, the specialist in internal medicine at Berlin University. I was not suffering from any organic trouble, he concluded, but only from nervous symptoms caused by overwork.

I slowed down my pace as best I could and the symptoms abated. To avoid offending Hitler I pretended that I was carefully following Morell’s instructions, and since my health improved, I became for a time Morell’s showpiece.

When Hitler was troubled with grogginess in the morning, Morell would inject him with a solution of water mixed with a substance from several small, gold-foiled packets, which he called “Vitamultin”. Hitler would arise, refreshed and invigorated. Ernst-Günther Schenck, a physician of Himmler’s SS, acquired one of the packets and had it tested in a laboratory. It was found to contain methamphetamine.

Speer characterised Morell as an opportunist, who once he achieved status as Hitler’s physician, became extremely careless and lazy in his work. He was more concerned about money and status rather than providing medical assistance. By 1944, Morell developed a hostile rivalry with Dr. Karl Brandt, who had been attending Hitler since 1934.

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Though criticized by Brandt and other physicians, Morell was always “restored to favor”

Brandt , warned Hitler he was in danger of being poisoned by these large dosages of drugs and vitamins. Hitler rejected Brandt’s advice and replied: “No one has ever told me precisely what is wrong with me. Morell’s method of cure is so logical that I have the greatest confidence in him. I shall follow his prescriptions to the letter.” Later he was to remark: “What luck I had to meet Morell. He has saved my life.”

Göring called Morell an unflattering nickname that stuck: Der Reichsspritzenmeister, (“Injection Master of the German Reich), and “The Master of the Imperial Needle” The underlying meaning is the same: it implied that Morell resorted to using injections when faced with medical problems and overused these drug injections.There were a great number of substances Dr Morell prescribed to Hitler,including a combination of Cocaine and Adrenaline which was taken via eye drops.

In 1939, Morell inadvertently became involved with the forced annexation of Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovak president, Emil Hacha, became so scared at Hitler’s outburst that he fainted.

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Morell injected stimulants into Hacha to wake him, and although he claimed these were only vitamins, they may have included methamphetamine. Hacha soon gave in to Hitler’s demands.

After the 20 July 1944 assassination attempt against Hitler, Morell treated him with topical penicillin, which had only recently been introduced into testing by the U.S. Army. Where he acquired it is unknown, and Morell claimed complete ignorance of penicillin when he was interrogated by American intelligence officers after the war. When members of Hitler’s inner circle were interviewed for the book The Bunker, some claimed Morell owned a significant share in a company fraudulently marketing a product as penicillin.

By April 1945, Hitler was taking 28 different pills a day, along with numerous injections (including many of glucose) every few hours and intravenous injections of methamphetamine almost every day.The personal notes of Morell, describe how he treated Hitler over the years, including notations such as, “injection as always”, and, “Eukodal”, which is a strong opiate equivalent of Oxycodone.

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On 20 April 1945, during the Battle of Berlin, Morell, Albert Bormann, Admiral Karl-Jesko von Puttkamer, Dr. Hugo Blaschke, secretaries Johanna Wolf, Christa Schroeder, and several others were ordered by Hitler to leave Berlin by aircraft for the Obersalzberg.Hitler dismissed Morell from the Führerbunker, saying that he did not need any more medical help. The group flew out of Berlin on different flights by Adolf Hitler’s personal Fw 200 Condor,  over the following three days. Morell was on the flight which left Berlin on 23 April.

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He left behind prepared medicine; during the last week of Hitler’s life, it was administered by Dr. Werner Haase and by Heinz Linge, Hitler’s valet.

At the end of the Second World War Morell was captured by the United States Army. He was also interrogated by British intelligence. Hugh Trevor-Roper was not very impressed with Morell:

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“A gross but deflated old man, of’ cringing manners, inarticulate in speech and with the hygiene habits of a pig, and could not conceive how a man so utterly devoid of self respect could ever have been selected as a personal physician by anyone who had even a limited possibility of choice.”

Morell was never charged with any crimes and he was eventually released. He later claimed that he was the true discoverer of penicillin and that his secret had been stolen from him by the British Secret Service.

Theodor Morell died at Tegernsee on 26th May 1948