Saul Friedlander wins German Book Trade's 2007 peace prize

Israeli historian cited for giving voice "to the grievances and cries of those human beings who were turned to dust."

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October 14, 2007 13:27
1 minute read.
Saul Friedlander wins German Book Trade's 2007 peace prize

saul friedlander 88. (photo credit: )

 
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Israeli historian Saul Friedlander on Sunday was awarded the top prize at the annual Frankfurt Book Fair in recognition of his narratives documenting the Nazi Holocaust. "Saul Friedlander gave a voice to the grievances and cries of those human beings who were turned to dust - he gave them memory and a name," the German Book Trade association said in awarding Friedlander its 2007 peace prize. "The acknowledgment of human dignity forms the basis for peace among mankind, and Saul Friedlander returned to the murdered millions the dignity of which they had been robbed," it said. Friedlander, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, was given the €25,000 peace prize on the final day of the annual book fair in an award ceremony at Frankfurt's St. Paul's Church. Among Friedlander's best-known work is his two-volume collection "The Third Reich and the Jews." The association said Friedlander was chosen for his firsthand approach to Holocaust history. "Friedlander is one of the last historiographers to have witnessed and experienced the Holocaust - a genocide that was announced early on, planned openly and carried out with machinelike precision," the association said. "Friedlander rejects the distanced approach often associated with the writing of history: He creates a space for incomprehensibility - the only possible reaction to such an unfathomable crime." Previous winners of the award include German sociologist Wolf Lepenies in 2006, outspoken Turkish author and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk, and former Czech President Vaclav Havel. The prize was first awarded in 1950.

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