Miscellany Intoxication

Primo Levi wrote that at Auschwitz “a large amount of alcohol was put at the disposal of” members of the Special Squad, inmates of the concentration camp who were forced to work the crematoriums, “and that they were in a permanent state of complete debasement and prostration.” One such inmate said, “Doing this work, one either goes crazy the first day or gets accustomed to it.”

Miscellany Intoxication

George Washington completed his second and final term as president in 1797 and moved back to Mount Vernon, where his farm manager, a Scotsman, convinced him to build a whiskey distillery to earn higher profits on his estate. “I make use of no barley in my distillery,” he wrote in 1798. “Rye chiefly and Indian corn in a certain proportion compose the materials from which the whiskey is made.” Having expanded operations by 1799, the year of his death, he owned five stills in a building of 2,250 square feet with a yearly yield of nearly 10,500 gallons.