Nazi Drugs Are Sweeping Across Europe

As Europe’s youth lurch towards extremist, far-right politics, so do their euphoric party drugs. 
Simon Doherty
London, GB
Photo courtesy Dr Zoë Dubus

At the end of 2023, police in Kerkrade, the Netherlands, pulled over a driver who’d ignored a stop sign, and quickly noticed three things. One, he didn’t have a valid licence. Two, he appeared to be high. And three, in the passenger seat beside him was a massive bag of Nazi-branded ecstasy pills.

The Nazi Eagle symbol was developed by Hitler’s party in the 1920s, and is also known as the Imperial Eagle or Parteiadler. As well as the tablets bearing its image, cops seized half a kilo of weed and 100 grams of coke. The arrest was only reported by an Irish tabloid newspaper, the Sunday World, but the Dutch police confirmed its accuracy to VICE.


The irony is inescapable: to see an ecstasy pill (a drug synonymous with feelings of love, euphoria, and empathy) juxtaposed with Nazi insignia (synonymous with hate, brutal intolerance, and genocide, if you hadn’t been paying attention) is jarring in the extreme.

Yet this isn’t an isolated incident. “Yesterday, a member of the French Psychedelic Society, who works in a harm reduction association in western France, sent us this,” Dr Zoë Dubus, a post-doctoral researcher specialising in psychotropic drugs, wrote on X this week. Attached to the post was a photo of two grey pills, also stamped with the Nazi Eagle.

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Ecstasy tablets bearing the symbol of the Nazis' notorious SS paramilitary unit (Photo courtesy Saferparty.ch)

According to Dr Dubus, the pills are “starting to circulate in France” and have “been spotted since early 2024 in Switzerland, Iceland, and Holland.” Testing in Zurich revealed this design has also been used to make 2C-B (in 2023) and MDMA (this year).

The trend exists in an interesting context. Far-right political parties have made massive gains in Brussels of late, a situation lubricated by a grim uptick in youth support. In Germany, 16 percent of under-25s voted for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the EU elections earlier this month, triple the number for the same election in 2019. The National Rally (RN) in France was the most popular party for people aged below 34, increasing ten points to 32 percent of the vote for that demographic. Meanwhile, Poland’s far-right Confederation party saw an 18.5 percent increase in support from voters under 30. Similar shit has gone down in Portugal, Spain, Austria, and the Netherlands.


Is it possible that we’re seeing Europe’s far-right surge play out through the medium of party drug designs? The first sample spotted with a Nazi symbol was in Switzerland in 2019, followed a few years later by a swastika LSD tablet. But until now, Dr Dubus explains, it’s been a “limited phenomenon.” That’s changed this year, however.

“In early 2024, several tablets with the Nazi eagle and swastika were analysed, indicating an increase in production,” she recalls. “What's more, the pills are all different in quality and composition: 2C-B, MDMA, and a strange mixture which seems to indicate that one of the batches was made by a very amateur chemist.” The chemical diversity with the same pill design, she argues, demonstrates that they come from several different manufacturers. She does not know which groups are making them at the moment, but notes that European MDMA production continues to be mainly focused around the Netherlands.

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Evil Nazi Peruvian cocaine, seized at the Belgian border (Photo courtesy of Peruvian Anti-Drug Police via AP)

The far-rightification of Europe’s illicit drug supply isn’t exclusive to ecstasy and 2C-B; it appears to have extended to the coke supply, too. Last year, narcs at a port in northern Peru busted 58 kilos of coke destined for Belgium. Each individual kilo block that made up the haul was wrapped in Nazi regalia and—just in case you missed that glaring swastika-shaped clue—the bricks of gear themselves were stamped with the telltale word ‘HITLER’.


Police Colonel Luis Bolanos told reporters the Nazi coke was worth $3 million and would’ve been “distributed across Belgium, the Netherlands, France, and Spain.” Again, it’s hard to know if the special design had been ordered by neo-Nazi drugs gangs, or drugs gangs looking to sell to neo-Nazis, but if there’s one thing worse than being trapped with a neo-Nazi, it’s probably being trapped with a neo-Nazi who’s high on cocaine.

There’s an increasing stockpile of anecdotal evidence of Europe’s Nazi drug surge. Four months ago, a Redditor who self-describes as “a casual stoner” was baffled when presented with drugs branded with Nazi iconography. “A friend of mine showed me a bag of MDMA pills shaped like Nazi Eagles,” he wrote. “He found them funny as hell in an ironic way.” He added: “I kinda forgot about it, but now I'm seeing more and more people posting and having ecstasy shaped as swastikas, SS logos or Nazi Eagles, none of them are white supremacists … seeing how prevalent this has become lately, I'm kinda confused, is there any reason for it?”

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More Nazi drugs (Photo courtesy Saferparty.ch)

I reached out to the Redditor and the subreddit requesting more information. The original poster has yet to reply, but in typical nihilistic fashion, those who did don’t link the design to genuine far-right groups. One said “people just press ‘em into whatever they want for the fun of it,” some said it was done for “marketing” purposes, and a couple believed it was a reference to the fact the original Nazis were themselves tweakers, often meth-ed up to the eyeballs for days on end while conducting their barbaric rampage across Europe.


But others were less optimistic. “I think the use of SS insignia and the Parteiadler as a pressed pill design speaks for itself,” Dr Brian Pace, an Affiliate Scholar at the Center for Psychedelic Drug Research and Education, told VICE. “Attempts to dismiss or excuse it as some kind of troll is to concede that one can troll in this way without some level of adherence to far-right ideologies. The only people who would find that funny are fascists, period.”

I asked Dr Dubus if she thinks that the people pressing the pills are trolls or actual far-right groups. “Some could be trolls. But some could really be linked to Nazi groups that very openly discuss their use of psychedelics on forums.

“Ecstasy pills have always been used to spread ideas,” she added. “Counterexamples are the Me Too or Antifa pills. But the increase in the presence of this symbol at several French parties [raves] in recent days, just after the elections giving 30 percent to the worst far-right party in history, is particularly worrying.”

Follow Simon on Twitter @oldspeak1