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Hitler's Northern Utopia

Building the New Order in Occupied Norway

Despina Stratigakos



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Princeton University Pres
01 October 2020
Art & design styles: Modernist design & Bauhaus; City & town planning - architectural aspects; History of architecture; History; Second World War; Fascism & Nazism
The fascinating untold story of how Nazi architects and planners envisioned and began to build a model Aryan society in Norway during World War II Between 1940 and 1945, German occupiers transformed Norway into a vast construction zone. This remarkable building campaign, largely unknown today, was designed to extend the Greater German Reich beyond the Arctic Circle and turn the Scandinavian country into a racial utopia. From ideal new cities to a scenic superhighway stretching from Berlin to northern Norway, plans to remake the country into a model Aryan society fired the imaginations of Hitler, his architect Albert Speer, and other Nazi leaders. In Hitler's Northern Utopia, Despina Stratigakos provides the first major history of Nazi efforts to build a Nordic empire-one that they believed would improve their genetic stock and confirm their destiny as a new order of Vikings.

Drawing on extraordinary unpublished diaries, photographs, and maps, as well as newspapers from the period, Hitler's Northern Utopia tells the story of a broad range of completed and unrealized architectural and infrastructure projects far beyond the well-known German military defenses built on Norway's Atlantic coast. These ventures included maternity centers, cultural and recreational facilities for German soldiers, and a plan to create quintessential National Socialist communities out of twenty-three towns damaged in the German invasion, an overhaul Norwegian architects were expected to lead. The most ambitious scheme-a German cultural capital and naval base-remained a closely guarded secret for fear of provoking Norwegian resistance.

A gripping account of the rise of a Nazi landscape in occupied Norway, Hitler's Northern Utopia reveals a haunting vision of what might have been-a world colonized under the swastika.
By:   Despina Stratigakos
Imprint:   Princeton University Pres
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm, 
ISBN:   9780691198217
ISBN 10:   0691198217
Pages:   352
Publication Date:   01 October 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Despina Stratigakos is a vice provost and professor of architecture at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. She is the author of Hitler at Home and Where Are the Women Architects? (Princeton), and has written on Nazi Germany for Architect Magazine, BBC History Magazine, and the Atlantic. She lives in Buffalo, New York.

Reviews for Hitler's Northern Utopia: Building the New Order in Occupied Norway

Drawing from a staggering trove of archival letters, maps, plans and diaries, Stratigakos's Hitler's Northern Utopia gracefully juxtaposes the oppressor's dream with Norway's brutal reality as she examines the country's occupation and the labor force that worked on building the Nazi fantasy state that never was. ---Lucy Tiven, Washington Post Unusual and provocative. . . . A special strength of the book is Stratigakos's attention to the fate of POWs-some Serbian, but mostly Russian. . . . Norwegian historians are coming to terms with both the occupation and their country's response in the 1950s and 60s. Hitler's Northern Utopia should be high on their must-read list. Nor will non-specialist readers be disappointed in it. ---Jonathan Beard, Michigan War Studies Review As well as being a fascinating account of an unfamiliar but important aspect of the Second World War, this book is an exemplary model of scholarship. . . . It is a remarkable achievement, compelling in its originality and fascination, and a vital addition to the huge literature on the most horrific war in modern history. ---Simon Heffer, The Telegraph If you thought (as I did) that, 75 years on from Hitler's death, there could surely be nothing new to learn about him, then this book by U.S. architectural historian Despina Stratigakos is an eye-opener. ---Tony Rennell, Daily Mail

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