“Final Sale” Exhibition

The Elie Wiesel Center is pleased to present the historical exhibition “Final Sale: The End of Jewish Businesses in Nazi Berlin,” on display at the Rubin-Frankel Gallery, Florence and Chafetz Hillel House, through the week of January 5, 2014. Read about the exhibition in BU Today.


“Final Sale” chronicles the fate of small businesses in the capital of the “Third Reich,” focusing on the Jewish entrepreneurs who built them and their struggle to survive in an increasingly segregated and racist business environment. Based on innovative research by German historians, “Final Sale” combines telling images with gripping life stories to communicate the perils of economic racism.

The companies at the center of the exhibition offer a glimpse into the diversity and vitality of the Jewish commercial presence in Germany, which in 1933 encompassed over 40,000 businesses in Berlin alone.

Through a series of case histories, the exhibition explores the various meanings of the phrase “Jewish entrepreneur” by analyzing the varied engagement of these entrepreneurs with religion and business, and by emphasizing the valiant responses of individual business owners to shrinking commercial opportunities.

In this manner, the exhibition recovers a sense of the loss these proprietors suffered as they were robbed not simply of their property but also of the businesses that they considered their life’s work.

By focusing on forgotten retailers, the exhibition also offers us a glimpse of a vanished economic topography, a Berlin that no longer exists.

The exhibition is open to the general public. For logistical reasons, the Hillel House requests advance notice for larger groups.


Sponsors: BU Center for the Humanities, Jewish Cultural Endowment at BU, Florence and Chafetz Hillel House, BU History Department, BU African American Studies Program, Memorial Museum at the House of the Wannsee Conference (Berlin), and the Aktives Museum – Faschismus und Widerstand (Berlin).

Hours:  Monday – Saturday, 9 am – 9 pm ; Sunday, 3 pm – 9 pm

For more information, or to schedule a group visit, contact the BU Hillel House at (617) 353-7200 or hillel@bu.edu

Throughout December
Florence and Chafetz Hillel House at Boston University
213 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215