Tietz Lecture on Addressing Antisemitism 2023

Looking back, while moving forward – How do we want to remember Hertie’s history during the Third Reich?

Tietz Lecture 2022
Tietz Lecture 2021
Tietz Lecture 2020

Oscar Tietz, founder of the successful department store chain “Hermann Tietz,” later “Hertie.” The Nazis forced his family out of the company through massive antisemitic repressions in the 1930s.
Picture Privatarchiv Nils Busch-Petersen

After years of advocacy by students and alumni and intensive research by historians, thus far unknown details of the history of the Hertie department store company during the Third Reich are finally about to be revealed. How do we – as the Hertie School community – want to remember Hertie’s history under the Nazi regime and the antisemitic expropriation of the Tietz family? And what does this mean for the future?

Commemoration is a question of values, belonging and power. It contributes to how we shape and define our community. Join the Her.Tietz Initiative for a discussion on how we, the faculty, employees, students and alumni of the Hertie School, want to jointly engage with the past, especially in the context of rising group-focused enmity.


Derviş Hızarcı
Picture: Private

Derviş Hızarcı, Chairman of Kreuzberger Initiative gegen Antisemitismus, Moderation

Prof. Dr. Cornelia Woll
Picture: Private

Prof. Dr. Cornelia Woll, President of the Hertie School

Lars Mehwald
Picture: Private

Lars Mehwald, Her.Tietz Initiative Leader

About the Tietz Lecture on Addressing Antisemitism

The annual lecture series is named after the Jewish merchant Oscar Tietz, founder of the department store chain “Hermann Tietz” (the name of which was later changed to “Hertie”). In the 1930s, the Nazis forced the Tietz family out of their company through a series of antisemitic repressions. The Her.Tietz Initiative wants to keep the family’s memory alive.

About the Her.Tietz Initiative

The organizer of the Tietz Lecture on Addressing Antisemitism is the Her.Tietz Initiative, a volunteer group of students and alumni of the Hertie School – supported by more than 150 active and former members of institutions funded by the non-profit Hertie Foundation. The initiative advocates for an open and responsible approach to Hertie’s Nazi history, for active commemoration of the victims of the Shoah, and for combating the rise of anti-Semitism today.

The Hertie School in Berlin is funded by the Hertie Foundation. The assets of the Hertie Foundation emerged from the Hertie department store chain. During the Nazi era, the Tietz family was forced out of their business by anti-Semitic repression and the company, which was then still called Hermann Tietz, was “Aryanized”. Her.Tietz is committed to openly dealing with the “Aryanization” of the Hermann Tietz company and the anti-Semitic repressions against the Tietz family. We are also dedicated to addressing the anti-Semitism that exists in Germany today and to explore ways to combat it. We are supported by the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” and the non-governmental organization “Humanity in Action”.

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