Hitler's Northern Utopia

Despina Stratigakos ’99

From 1940 to 1945, German occupiers transformed Norway into a vast construction zone—including ideal new cities and a scenic superhighway— designed to remake the country into a model “Aryan” society. Drawing on unpublished diaries, photographs, maps, and period newspapers, Hitler’s Northern Utopia by Despina Stratigakos ’99 provides the first major history of Nazi efforts to build a Nordic empire that they believed would improve their genetic stock and confirm their destiny as a new order of Vikings. (Princeton University Press, 2020)

“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.”—Washington Post

Despina Stratigakos is a writer, historian, and professor in the department of architecture at the University of Buffalo. She currently serves at UB’s vice provost for inclusive excellence.