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Compelling account of Nuremberg’s Nazi burdens wins prestigious history prize

Published: 
7 October 2008

Dr Neil Gregor from the University of Southampton has been awarded the prestigious Fraenkel Prize for Contemporary History, achieving an unprecedented ‘double’ in the process.

The prize was presented to Neil by the Wiener Library, one of the world’s leading and most extensive archives on the Holocaust and the Nazi era, for his book Haunted City: Nuremberg and the Nazi Past after 1945.

The Fraenkel Prize has two categories, one for established writers and one for first-time writers. Neil has become the first person to win both prizes, after winning the first-time writers’ award in 1996 for Daimler-Benz in the Third Reich.

Dr Gregor, who is a Reader in Modern German History, comments: “I am honoured to receive this award, and especially to gain recognition for my work from an institution that has survivors and refugees from the Holocaust at the core of what it does.

“Nuremberg is a city associated with Nazi excesses, party rallies, and the extreme anti-Semitic propaganda published by Hitler ally Julius Streicher and has struggled since the Second World War to come to terms with the material and moral legacies of Nazism.

“This book explores how the Nuremberg community has confronted the implications of the genocide in which it participated, while also dealing with the appalling suffering of ordinary German citizens during and after the war.”

Dr Gregor’s compelling account of the painful process of remembering and acknowledging the Holocaust offers new insights into postwar memory in Germany and how it has operated. The wider theme is the problem of how societies in transition from dictatorship to democracy cope with the legacies of a dictatorial or genocidal past.

Notes for editors

  • The Wiener Library is one of the world’s leading and most extensive archives on the Holocaust and Nazi era. Formed in 1933, the Library’s unique collection of over one million items includes published and unpublished works, press cuttings, photographs and eyewitness testimony.
    • The Fraenkel Prize, sponsored by Mr Ernst Fraenkel OBE, joint President of the Library and former Chairman, is awarded for an outstanding work of twentieth century history in one of the Wiener Library’s fields of interest - the political history of Central and Eastern Europe; Jewish history; the two world wars; antisemitism; and the ideologies and movements of political extremism and totalitarianism.

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