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In Defense of Capitalism: Debunking the Myths

Fri, Mar 31, 2023, 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Featuring: Dr. Rainer Zitelmann
Location: The Institute of World Politics - 1521 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20036, United States

You are cordially invited to attend a lecture on the topic of

In Defense of Capitalism: Debunking the Myths


Dr. Rainer Zitelmann
Historian, Sociologist, and Author of In Defense of Capitalism: Debunking the Myths


Friday, March 31, 2023
5:00-6:00 PM EST


The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th St. NW
Washington D.C. 20036
Marlatt Mansion, Commodore Barry Room
Getting to campus


In Defense of Capitalism book cover

About the Lecture

Dr. Rainer Zitelmann will discuss his book, In Defense of Capitalism: Debunking the Myths, including popular and pervasive superstitions surrounding the system of capitalism.

About the Speaker

Dr. Rainer Zitelmann holds doctorates in history and sociology and regularly writes for media outlets in twelve countries. His books are international best-sellers – In Defense of Capitalism is being published in a total of 30 languages.

Rainer Zitelmann was born in Frankfurt am Main in 1957. At the age of ten, he published his first school newspaper, writing all of the articles and booking all of the ads to finance the newspaper. As a teenager, Rainer Zitelmann was a Maoist and, at the age of 13, he founded the Red Cell at his school and published the newspaper Rotes Banner (Red Banner).

Zitelmann’s research on the history of National Socialism

Zitelmann studied history and political science at the Technical University of Darmstadt from 1978 to 1983 and graduated with distinction. In 1986, under the mentorship of the internationally renowned historian Professor Freiherr von Aretin, Zitelmann was awarded the title Dr. phil for his doctoral dissertation, which was subsequently published as Hitler’s National Socialism. The study is regarded as a standard work on Hitler’s worldview and social, economic and domestic policy ideas. The book was reviewed in the most respected German and American history journals. Among the glowing tributes, Professor Klemens von Klemperer wrote in the Journal of Modern History:

“Many biographies have been written about Adolf Hitler, but Rainer Zitelmann’s book on Hitler is not just another biography. He has taken the trouble to collate and evaluate all of Hitler’s utterances and writings and has thus cleared the ground for a fuller understanding of Hitler’s self-image, the nature of his ideology, his objectives, and his policies…Rainer Zitelmann has resolved to abstain from moral judgments; but his meticulous and responsible scholarship speaks all the louder. His book constitutes a milestone in our understanding of Adolf Hitler.”

In Hitler’s National Socialism, Zitelmann demonstrates that anti-capitalism played a far greater role in Hitler’s worldview than had previously been assumed. An abridged version of the key findings of his work on Hitler’s economic policy ideas can be found here:



From 1987 to 1992, Zitelmann worked at the Central Institute for Social Science Research at the Free University of Berlin. During this time, he wrote several history books and edited a number collections of scholarly essays.

Dr. Rainer Zitelmann – Publisher and Journalist

In early 1992, Zitelmann became editor-in-chief of Ullstein-Propyläen publishing house, at the time Germany’s third largest book publishing group. In his role, Zitelmann created a home for conservative and libertarian authors and founded the “Ullstein Report” series, which triggered controversial political discussions in Germany.

Zitelmann then headed various departments of the newspaper Die Welt – one of Germany’s two leading conservative dailies – before creating and serving as head of the newspaper’s Real Estate desk. In a matter of just a few years, he stablished himself as the leading real estate journalist in Germany.

Rainer Zitelmann becomes an Entrepreneur and Real Estate Investor

During his time as a real estate journalist, Zitelmann identified a gap in the market: There was no PR agency anywhere in Germany that focused exclusively on the real estate industry. Zitelmann saw the opportunity, resigned from Die Welt and founded his own company, Dr. ZitelmannPB. GmbH, which he quickly established as by far the leading positioning and communications consultancy in the German real estate industry. He secured a roster of renowned clients, including almost all of the real estate subsidiaries of the Germany’s largest banks (Deutsche Bank and others), large listed real estate companies, initiators of closed-end funds, and international brokerage companies such as CB Richard Ellis. Zitelmann invested the money he earned as an entrepreneur in real estate assets. As a contrarian investor, he bought residential properties in Berlin from 2000 to 2009 before selling most of them at the height of the boom between 2015 and 2020. In 2016, he sold his PR company to his closest associate in a management buy-out – the company now operates under the name PB3C.

Shortly after selling his company, Germany’s leading real estate industry journal Immobilien-Manager conducted a survey among real estate journalists and real estate companies. The journalists ranked Dr. ZitelmannPB. first in all competence categories and credited the company for having the best reputation in the market. In addition, Dr. ZitelmannPB. ranked first in the question of awareness in the market among both real estate companies and real estate journalists.

Zitelmann’s Second Doctoral Dissertation: The Wealth Elite

In 2016, Zitelmann was awarded his second doctorate, this time in sociology, for his dissertation on the psychology of the superrich under the mentorship of Professor Wolfgang Lauterbach at the University of Potsdam. His second doctoral dissertation was published in numerous languages, including in English as The Wealth Elite .

Respected American and British media, including The Financial Times, Forbes, The Sunday Times and Market Watch, which is part of the Wall Street Journal, all published articles about the book. In October 2018, The Financial Times wrote: “Rainer Zitelmann’s study of the psychology of the super-rich is an ambitious project. Few could be better qualified for it than Dr Zitelmann – a historian, sociologist, journalist, businessman and investor. There has been no comparable study and it is a compelling read for all who need to understand the characteristics and motivations of rich entrepreneurs. These people drive economic growth, back innovation, create jobs and finance philanthropic projects. So why has such a study never been attempted before? It is hard to access these people and design questionnaires that generate a meaningful response.”

Zitelmann the Global Author and Publicist

Today, Rainer Zitelmann devotes himself to his research and writing. His books have been acclaimed all around the world. For example, Dare to Be Different and Grow Rich has now been published in 13 languages and The Power of Capitalism has been published in Great Britain and the USA, Germany, South Korea, Italy, Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic and Brazil. His book The Rich in Public Opinion was published in the USA by the renowned Cato Institute and also appeared in translations in Germany, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Japan and Vietnam.

“My goal today,” says Zitelmann, “is to correct the prevailing popular misconceptions about capitalism and entrepreneurs.” Zitelmann’s work combines the strengths of his academic research with his journalistic acumen. One academic project that has occupied Zitelmann for several years, and on which he has published several scholarly essays in the prestigious British journal Economic Affairs, is research into popular attitudes toward rich people in different countries and comparative research on social envy. Here you will find two essays on this topic:



Zitelmann is also a highly sought-after international guest speaker in Asia, the USA, Latin America and Europe:


***Copies of Dr. Zitelmann’s book, In Defense of Capitalism: Debunking the Myths, will be made available for purchase before and after the lecture***

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