Nazism: Utopia of Life, Dystopia of Death

Public lecture on occasion of the Holocaust Memorial Day with Johann Chapoutot, Sorbonne Université

A hundred years ago, defeat struck the Germans as the worst catastrophe of their modern history—worse than the Thirty Years War and the defeat at the hands of Napoleon in 1806. Not surprisingly, many Germans interpreted the catastrophe in biological terms: not only had Germany lost 2.5 million people (civilians included), but was deprived of its very means of survival by the Treaty of Versailles. Professor Chapoutot will show how the Nazis fabricated their “vision of the world” from a great number of sources, which provided both an explanation and a solution to the perceived disaster.

Johann Chapoutot is Professor of Modern History at the Sorbonne (Sorbonne Université). A specialist of German history, he has published, among others, The Law Of Blood. Thinking and Acting like a Nazi (Harvard UP, 2018), Greeks, Romans, Germans. How the Nazis usurped Europe’s Classical Past (The University of California Press, 2016) and Free to Obey. Nazism and Management (Europa Press, NYC, 2022). His books are translated into 14 languages and distinguished by numerous French and international awards.

The lecture is open to the public. Since it is an online event, we kindly ask you to pre-register by mail to