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Rainer Zitelmann is a historian and political scientist, entrepreneur and author. He is known for his critical depictions of Adolf Hitler at the time of National Socialism and has also dealt with the GDR. He recently succeeded in making the German financial nobility the subject of his own dissertation, which earned him a certain degree of fame in the media.
Zitelmann’s father already devoted himself to writing, but as a theologian he was driven by completely different topics than the young Rainer, who by his own account felt drawn to communism at an early age and was a Maoist even as a schoolboy. After graduating from high school in 1978, he studied political science and history at the TH Darmstadt and developed a fascination with National Socialism, which would later become his main area of research. He also changed from a Maoist to a Marxist.
With his state examination in 1987, he was able to fully immerse himself in his field of research. His first dissertation was about Adolf Hitler, National Socialism and the orthodox Marxist view that later led to German fascism. Zitelmann proved that social policy already existed during the National Socialist era and that Hitler used it to overcome issues such as class struggles, improve the situation of the workforce and thus create equal opportunities. Hitler was thus conceptually proclaimed a “social revolutionary” who wanted to actively and constructively modernize German society. From 1987 to 1992, his work earned him an assistant position with Jürgen W. Falter at the Free University of Berlin. phil with “summa cum laude”.
To further his career, the historian wrote for a number of journals and magazines. He started out as the editor-in-chief of a small publishing house, but would later also write for major newspapers such as Die Welt, where he wrote articles for departments such as Spiritual World and Contemporary History. Again and again Zitelmann got involved in political campaigns that took up the values of National Socialism, partly because of his more right-wing political leanings.
With the founding of “Dr. ZitelmannPB GmbH” began his career as an entrepreneur. He used this primarily to publish his own books. This brought him attention and he began again as a writer for several magazines that printed articles by him weekly. In addition to German newspapers such as the FAZ, Neue Züricher or Focus, there are also English publications such as the Washington Examiner and the Daily Telegraph.
In 2016 he went to the University of Potsdam to study economics and social sciences. His dissertation was to deal with the German moneyed nobility and assess their personality and behavioral patterns. She was graded magna cum laude and earned him the Dr. re. pole. a.
Rainer Zitelmann has published many works over the course of his career. However, his dissertation “Hitler’s self-understanding as a revolutionary” in 1986 definitely laid the foundation for everything else. It received a mixed reception from the specialist press, but was praised above all for the use of hitherto unconsidered source material. In addition, it earned the young historian a place in the anthology “Schatten der Zeiten” (Shadows of the Past), where he writes about the “historicization of National Socialism”. The authors were primarily concerned with presenting the various stations of the Nazi era as value-free as possible and without taboos, myths and legends, which are otherwise hardly prepared in a sober manner and free of moralizing overtones due to folk educational coping rituals. In 1991 Zitelmann published his first work, “Critique of the West Connection”, a portrait of several political personalities in West Germany, including Kurt Schumacher and Gustav W. Heinemann.
His second dissertation should not only bring him academic fame but also interest in the media. Television, newspapers and the Internet want to know: How do the rich behave and what character traits do you need to have to be really successful? In order to answer the latter question, Zitelmann would basically only have to look at his own career, because he too is now wealthy. His entire life can be read in his 2017 autobiography, entitled “When you stop burning, start again!” appeared. It remains to be seen whether this is the end of the career of the now 63-year-old.
“If someone wants to live in the bin and be happy at the same time, I have nothing against it”
“Anyone who buys books about success should look at the person who wrote the book”
tips for success
In addition to his scientific publications, Dr. dr Rainer Zitelmann also works on success. Here he describes, among other things, his “12 rules of life for multimillionaires”. These include 12 rough guidelines that you think you should follow in order to be consistently successful. It’s about being confident, even if it makes you seem arrogant, and removing the “rose-colored glasses” to see the world for what it is. Goals should always be achievable, but never set too small, because failure is also part of success and very important: You should only take on work that you really enjoy and are not afraid of delegating. He also emphasizes that honesty and reliability also lead to lasting success and that you don’t have to cheat anyone. Especially not yourself.