Cannabis for the Führer
Okay, what fresh madness is this? Back during World War II, the warring nations faced shortages of all kinds. They encouraged their farmers to grow agricultural products that would help the war effort – such as…hemp.
US propagandists produced the stirring film Hemp for Victory, which is a hoot and a half. We don't know which is funniest: the narrator's tone, the background score, or the government hemp-growing licence.
Germany had similar materials problems, and the same solution: grow hemp! Hence this hilarious booklet, Die lustige Hempfibel, which means 'The Jolly Hemp Primer'. It's a real find, this booklet. Profusely illustrated in the German Naïve School, it tells in correct detail how to grow hemp. It gives all this agricultural advice in verse. The style is reminiscent of Wilhelm Busch, author of Max und Moritz.
The Editor, who can read old German print and handwriting, has combed this elegant tome, but found no reference to any possible, er, recreational use of the product under discussion. Humourless to the end, that Reichsnährstand. Phooey.
The book concludes with, 'HE WHO GROWS HEMP WITH INDUSTRIOUS HANDS HELPS HIMSELF AND THE FATHERLAND. GROW HEMP!'
Don't you just love history?