Grabowski was awarded the prize, the Yad Vashem International Book Prize for Holocaust research in memory of Holocaust survivor Abraham Meir Schwarzbaum and his family members who were murdered in the Holocaust, for his book Hunt for the Jews: Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland, the Holocaust museum and memorial said in a statement. The award was presented at Yad Vashem on Monday.
The book, published by the Indiana University Press, documents the involvement of the local Polish citizens in locating and killing Jews in their midst during the Holocaust. The book draws on materials from Polish, Jewish and German sources and focuses on accounts of the fates of individual Jews.
“When it was first published in Polish in 2011, Grabowski’s book was followed by a vigorous discussion in the mainstream Polish media, showing that his writing can effectively break through a purely academic canon and affect widespread social perceptions of this crucial chapter of Polish and Jewish history,” the judges wrote in their remarks.
“The craftsmanship of Grabowski’s study is exemplary and shows that a careful reading of archival material allows for the detailed reconstruction of personal life (and death) stories of Jews in hiding,” the judges wrote. “The committee found Jan Grabowski’s study groundbreaking and exemplary in its approach and methodology, in its analytical quality and in its contribution to the better understanding of the multi-facetedness of the Shoah.”
The members of the 2014 Yad Vashem Book Prize Committee include: Prof. Jan Tomasz Gross, Princeton University; Prof. Wolf Gruner, University of South California; Prof. Dan Michman, Yad Vashem and Bar-Ilan University; Prof. Guy Miron, Open University; Dr. Iael Nidam-Orvieto, Yad Vashem; Prof. Dina Porat, Yad Vashem and Tel Aviv University; Avner Shalev, chairman, Yad Vashem.
There were two honorable mentions for the book prize: “Conscripted Slaves,” by Robert Rozett and “Gates of Tears,” by David Silberklang.