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Peter Hayes

Professor Emeritus; Theodore Z. Weiss Professor of Holocaust Studies Professor in the Department of History

Ph.D. Yale University

Professor Hayes specializes in the history of Germany in the 20th century, particularly the Nazi period. He is the author or editor of eleven books, including the prize winners Industry and Ideology: IG Farben in the Nazi Era and Lessons and Legacies I: The Meaning of the Holocaust in a Changing World, and most recently The Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies (ed. with John K. Roth), Das Amt und die Vergangenheit: Deutsche Diplomaten im Dritten Reich und in der Bundesrepublik (with Eckart Conze, Norbert Frei, and Moshen Zimmermann), How Was It Possible?  A Holocaust Reader. In Fall 2016, W. W. Norton & Co. will publish his twelfth book, Why? Explaining the Holocaust.  He is currently working on a study of German big business and the persecution of the Jews and a manuscript on German elites and National Socialism. His publications have appeared not only in English and German, but also in French, Italian, Japanese, Polish, and Spanish.  A recipient of the Weinberg College Distinguished Teaching Award and the Northwestern Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award, he also held a Charles Deering McCormick Professorship of Teaching Excellence, the University’s highest honor for teaching, in 2007-10. He has received research fellowships from the German Academic Exchange Service, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where he is also currently the chair of the Academic Committee.

Jewish Studies Courses

  • History 349: History of the Holocaust