Profits and Persecution: German Big Business and the Holocaust featuring Peter Hayes

Image of Peter Hayes, guest speaker for the Library's Holocaust Living History Workshop Series
May 17, 2023
5:00 PM–6:30 PM

Among the most striking exhibits at the Auschwitz museum are undoubtedly the mountains of loot stolen from Jews murdered upon arrival. Shoes, suitcases, spectacles, and more fill entire rooms in the former barracks of the main camp. Surviving the Shoah when their owners did not, they constitute a potent proof of the Nazis’ abiding concern with material gain. In this talk, Peter Hayes traces the ways by which the German corporate world became deeply implicated in—and in many respects indispensable to—the Nazi regime’s persecution, exploitation, and murder of Europe’s Jews. He argues that these developments stemmed inexorably from decisions made and actions taken by the nation’s leading corporate executives in 1933, at the very outset of Nazi rule.

Registration is required and now open: 

From 1980 to 2016 Peter Hayes was a professor of history at Northwestern University. He is the author or editor of thirteen books including the best-selling “Das Amt und die Vergangenheit” (2010) and the analytical “Why? Explaining the Holocaust” (2017) which has been translated into several foreign languages including German, Slovak, Spanish, and Chinese. He is currently completing (with Stephan Lindner of Munich) “Profits and Persecution: German Big Business, the Nazi Economy, and the Holocaust.”


About the Holocaust Living History Workshop

This event is a part of the Holocaust Living History Workshop (HLHW) series, an education and outreach program sponsored by the UC San Diego Library and the Jewish Studies program. It aims to preserve the memories of the victims and survivors of the Holocaust by offering public events involving witnesses, descendants and scholars and through the use of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s Visual History Archive. Past HLHW workshops are now part of the Library’s digital collections and can be accessed online here.

Sponsor: Judi Gottschalk

Susanne Hillman