Peter Hayes Professor of History and German, Theodore Zev Weiss Holocaust Educational Foundation; Professor of Holocaust Studies Emeritus

Peter Hayes (Ph.D., Yale, 1982) specializes in the histories of Nazi Germany and the Holocaustand, in particular, in the conduct of the nation’s largest corporations during the Third Reich. Hetaught at Northwestern for thirty-six years from 1980 to 2016, in the process winning the Weinberg College Distinguished Teaching Award, the Northwestern Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Charles Deering McCormick Professorship of Teaching Excellence, the University’s highest honor for teaching. His alma mater, Bowdoin College, also has honored him with its Distinguished Bowdoin Educator Award. The recipient of numerous research fellowships and a former member of the academic boards of several professional societies and Holocaust memorial sites, Prof. Hayes currently serves as the chair of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  

Publications

Prof. Hayes is the author or editor of twelve books. They include the prize-winning Industry andIdeology: IG Farben in the Nazi Era (1987, 2001) and Lessons and Legacies: The Meaning ofthe Holocaust in a Changing World (1991). From 2006 to 2010, he served as the only Americanmember of the Independent Historians Commission on the History of the German Foreign Officein the Third Reich and the Federal Republic, which resulted in the publication of a bestseller inGermany entitled Das Amt und die Vergangenheit.  Most recently, he has produced three majorworks on the Holocaust: The Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies (co-edited with John K.Roth, 2010), an extensive anthology called How Was It Possible? A Holocaust Reader (2015),and a compact analytical synthesis, Why? Explaining the Holocaust, that W. W. Norton &Company will release early in 2017.  He is currently writing (with Stephan Lindner of Munich)Profits and Persecution: German Big Business in the Third Reich, which is under contract inEnglish with Cambridge University Press and in German with Beck Verlag.

Universitätskulturen L'Université en perspective The Future of the University

Universitätskulturen
L'Université en perspective
The Future of the University

Das Amt und die Vergangenheit: Deutsche Diplomaten im Dritten Reich und in der Bundesrepublik

Das Amt und die
Vergangenheit:
Deutsche Diplomaten
im Dritten Reich und
in der Bundesrepublik

From Cooperation to Complicity: Degussa in the Third Reich

From Cooperation
to Complicity:
Degussa in the Third Reich

Degussa im Dritten Reich: Von der Zusammenarbeit zur Mittäterschaft

Degussa im Dritten Reich:
Von der Zusammenarbeit
zur Mittäterschaft

Industry and Ideology: IG Farben in the Nazi Era

Industry and Ideology:
IG Farben in the Nazi Era

The Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies

The Oxford Handbook
of Holocaust Studies

The Last Expression: Art and Auschwitz

The Last Expression:
Art and Auschwitz
Lessons and Legacies III: Memory, Memorialization, and Denial

Lessons and Legacies III:
Memory, Memorialization,
and Denial

Imperial Germany

Imperial Germany


How Was It Possible? A Holocaust Reader
How Was It Possible?
A Holocaust Reader

Teaching Interests

Although Prof. Hayes no longer teaches at Northwestern, he remains active in training secondary school and university teachers of courses on the Holocaust through organizations such as Facing History, the Holocaust Educational Foundation, the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He also continues to lecture widely in the U.S. andabroad on the histories of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.

Recent Awards and Honors

In November 2016, Prof. Hayes received a Distinguished Achievement Award in Holocaust Studies from the Holocaust Educational Foundation at the Fourteenth biannual Lessons & Legacies Conference in Claremont, CA.