The Distinguished Speaker Series; The U.S. and The Holocaust with Professor Peter Hayes

Tuesday, April 18, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. via Zoom

The American response to Nazi persecution of the Jews of Germany and then most of Europe brings to mind Winston Churchill’s famous evaluation of democracy: the worst system of government except every other one. Before World War II, the U.S. admitted more Jewish refugees than any other nation on the globe, but left many more would-be entrants to their fates; after the war began, our country tried harder than other belligerents to aid Jews, but belatedly and half-heartedly. Prof. Hayes will examine the principal causes of this pattern and address its relevance to the contemporary surge of antisemitism in America.

Peter Hayes is Professor emeritus of History and Holocaust Studies at Northwestern University, a former chair of the Academic Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the author or editor of thirteen books, including Why? Explaining the Holocaust, which has been translated into German, Spanish, Slovak, and Chinese, How Was It Possible? A Holocaust Reader, and The Oxford Handbook of Holocaust Studies. He lectures widely in Europe and North America on German history and the Holocaust and has appeared in numerous documentaries, including most recently the Ken Burns production of “The U.S. and the Holocaust.”

For further information, please contact Kelly Nester at Temple Beth Sholom at 941-955-8121, or

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