Annal: 1973 National Book Award for History

Results of the National Book Award in the year 1973.

Book:The Children of Pride

The Children of Pride: A True Story of Georgia and the Civil War

Robert Myers

The remarkable Civil War letters of a Georgia plantation family, now available in a compact, illustrated volume for new readers and for all those who so greatly admired the original monumental edition. The letters vividly recreate a period of American history unparalleled for its drama and poignancy.

Book:Judenrat

Judenrat: The Jewish Councils in Eastern Europe Under Nazi Occupation

Isaiah Trunk

During World War II, more than five million Jews lived under Nazi rule in Eastern Europe. In occupied Poland, the Baltic countries, Byelorussia, and Ukraine, they were stripped of property and “resettled” in ghettos. The German authorities established in each ghetto a Jewish Council, or Judenrat, to maintain minimal living standards. The Judenrat was required to carry out Nazi directives against other Jews, to supply forced labor, and eventually to cooperate in the Final Solution. Did the Jewish leaders of the ghettos, who were also victims, assist their murderers? If cooperation with the Nazi oppressors was morally defensible during the first stage in organizing the ghettos, what about later, when deportations to death camps began?

Trunk analyzes situations where the Councils and ghetto police were forced to send their own communities to death. Some Council members chose suicide rather than supply lists to the Nazis; others used delaying tactics. Some handed over the lists. Some joined their families in the gas chamber. In assessing guilt and innocence, Trunk never allows the reader to forget that the impossible choices facing the Jewish leaders were created by the Nazis.

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