Nominations for the second edition of the Witold Pilecki International Book Award - Instytut Pileckiego

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26.09.2022 (Mon) 19:00

Nominations for the second edition of the Witold Pilecki International Book Award

We know the authors nominated for the Witold Pilecki International Book Award! The Award Committee has selected 15 publications to compete in 3 different categories.

In this year’s second edition of the competition, the prize will be awarded to authors of the best academic and journalistic Polish- or English-language books published in 2021 and devoted to the Polish experience of two totalitarianisms. A special prize will be awarded for a book concerning Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine since 2014 or the protests in Belarus since 2020 and the repression associated with them.

The international Award Committee is comprised of prominent scholars: Dr. Łukasz Adamski, Prof. Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski, Prof. Marek Cichocki, Dr. Piotr Cywiński (Chairman of the Award Committee), Jack Fairweather, Prof. Magdalena Gawin, Prof. Patrycja Grzebyk, Prof. Marek Kornat, Dr. Wojciech Stanisławski and Prof. Claudia Weber, as well as war correspondent Jack Fairweather and Krzysztof Kosior – representative of the patron’s family, great-grandson of Witold Pilecki. 

From among nearly eighty books submitted by authors and publishers, the Award Committee has selected 5 nominees in each category.

Category I. Academic history book – the best monograph or synthesis concerning the Polish experience of the confrontation with two 20th-century totalitarian regimes. The prize will be awarded to well-researched books comprising an original interpretation and written in an appealing way.

Nominees:

  • Grzegorz Berendt, Bronna Góra 1942 roku. Miejsce zagłady natychmiastowej na Polesiu, Muzeum II Wojny Światowej w Gdańsku
  • Joanna Lubecka, Niemiecki zbrodniarz przed polskim sądem. Krakowskie procesy przed Najwyższym Trybunałem Narodowym, Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, Ośrodek Myśli Politycznej
  • Grzegorz Majchrzak, Rozpracowanie organów kierowniczych NSZZ „Solidarność” przez Służbę Bezpieczeństwa 1980–1982, Instytut Pamięci Narodowej
  • Jacek Tebinka and Anna Zapalec, Polska w brytyjskiej strategii wspierania ruchu oporu. Historia Sekcji Polskiej Kierownictwa Operacji Specjalnych (SOE), Wydawnictwo Neriton
  • Anna Wylegała, Był dwór, nie ma dworu. Reforma rolna w Polsce, Wydawnictwo Czarne

Category II. Historical reportage – a captivating depiction of the Polish experience of two 20th-century totalitarianisms. In addition to classic historical reportages, entries in this category may include biographies, collections of accounts, memoirs and correspondence of witnesses to history. The prize will be awarded for respectful approach to historical sources, well-organized composition and unbiased narrative.

Nominees:

  • Andrzej Brzeziecki, Wielka gra majora Żychonia. As wywiadu kontra Rzesza, Wydawnictwo Literackie
  • Magda Łucyan, Dzieci getta. Ostatni świadkowie Zagłady, Znak Horyzont
  • Krzysztof Mordyński, Sny o Warszawie. Wizje przebudowy miasta 1945-1952, Prószyński i S-ka
  • Jane Rogoyska, Surviving Katyń - Stalin's Polish Massacre and the Search for Truth, Oneworld Publications
  • Tomasz Słomczyński, Kaszëbë, Wydawnictwo Czarne

 

Category III. The special prize in the current edition will be awarded to a book detailing Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine since 2014 or the protests in Belarus since 2020 and the repression associated with them. When evaluating books in this category, a broad scope of reflection, determination in the pursuit of truth, and investigative intuition will be particularly appreciated.

Nominees:

  • Stanislav Aseyev, The Torture Camp on Paradise Street, The Old Lion Publishing House
  • Tomáš Forró, Apartament w hotelu wojna. Reportaż z Donbasu, Wydawnictwo Czarne
  • Joanna Getka and Jolanta Darczewska, Na drodze do wolności. Białoruska partyzantka kulturowa w przestrzeni publicznej i Internecie, Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
  • Wojciech Mucha, Krew i ziemia. O ukraińskiej rewolucji, Wydawnictwo Fronda
  • Paweł Pieniążek, Greetings From Novorossiya: Eyewitness to the War in Ukraine, University of Pittsburgh Press

The partner of the award is the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim. The authors of the best books in each category will receive a cash prize of PLN 40,000 and a commemorative statuette. In addition to that, the Award Committee may also select up to two honorable mentions in each category – authors of commended books will receive a cash prize of PLN 15,000. The prizes and honorable mentions will be awarded at a gala ceremony, which will take place in Warsaw in November 2022.

 

About the nominated books

The list of nominees competing for the special prize begins with Stanislav Aseyev’s shocking report of his experiences from a clandestine prison of the Russian Federal Security Service operating in occupied Donetsk. Tomáš Forró’s book describes the fighting in Eastern Ukraine, as well as the realities of everyday life in self-appointed Donetsk and Luhansk “republics.” Joanna Getka and Jolanta Darczewska analyze various forms of resistance against Alexander Lukashenko’s regime functioning in Belarusian culture. Wojciech Mucha’s book describes both Ukraine’s revolution of dignity and its subsequent struggle for independence from Russia. Paweł Pieniążek’s reportage is devoted to the fighting in the Donbas region in 2014.

The academic history books nominated this year are devoted to various topics in the history of Poland connected to the subject of confrontation with Nazism and Communism. Grzegorz Berendt describes the site of mass killings of Jews in Bronna Góra, where the Germans murdered, among others, the inhabitants of the ghetto in Brześć. Joanna Lubecka analyzes the postwar trials of German criminals prosecuted before the courts in Kraków. Grzegorz Majchrzak examines the operations conducted by the Security Office in the years 1980–1982 with the aim of breaking up the leadership of “Solidarity.” Jacek Tebinka and Anna Zapalec analyze the activities and strategies of the British intelligence services concerning the resistance movement in occupied Poland. Anna Wylegała’s book is devoted to the history, reception and memory of the agricultural reform which had a large impact on Polish society right after World War II.

Among the nominees in the historical reportage category is Andrzej Brzeziecki, who recalls the dramatic history of Jan Henryk Żychoń – officer of the Polish intelligence service who was wrongfully accused of treason. Magda Łucyan examines the horrific experiences of Polish Jews who survived detention in ghettos as children. Krzysztof Mordyński discusses various postwar plans of reconstruction of Warsaw following its destruction by the Germans. In a book written for an English-speaking audience, Jane Rogoyska describes the Katyn Massacre and the subsequent struggle against the Soviet propaganda concerning its commemoration. Tomasz Słomczyński presents the history and the contemporary state of Kashubia, focusing especially on the years 1939–1945, i.e. the extremely brutal German occupation and the crimes committed later by the victorious Red Army.

 

About the authors

Category I – Academic history book

Grzegorz Berendt – a historian, professor at the University of Gdańsk, Director of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk. Researcher of the 20th-century history of Polish Jews and Gdańsk Pomerania. Author of, i.a., Życie żydowskie w Polsce w latach 19501956. Z dziejów Towarzystwa Społeczno-Kulturalnego Żydów w Polsce.

Joanna Lubecka – a doctor of political sciences and historian working at the Institute of National Remembrance and the Ignatianum Academy. Researcher of the history of the Third Reich, as well as of German memory and politics of memory. Co-editor of the volume Doświadczenie dwóch totalitaryzmów. Interpretacje.

Grzegorz Majchrzak – a historian at the Institute of National Remembrance. Author and co-author of more than ten books devoted mainly to the history of the “Solidarity” movement, i.a., Solidarność na celowniku. Wybrane operacje SB przeciwko związkowi i jego działaczom.

Jacek Tebinka – a professor at the University of Gdańsk, head of the Faculty of Contemporary History and Political Thought in the 19th and 20th centuries at the Institute of Political Sciences. Researcher of English-Polish relations in the 20th century and of the role of intelligence data in diplomacy. Author of, i.a., Brytyjczycy o statusie Szczecina. Tajny raport Rohana Butlera (1965 r.).

Anna Wylegała – a doctor of sociology working at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at the Polish Academy of Sciences. Her research is devoted to biographical and social memory in Poland and Ukraine, as well as the social history of war and early postwar period in both countries. Author of the book Displaced Memories. Remembering and Forgetting in Post-War Poland and Ukraine.

Anna Zapalec – a historian and professor at the Commission of National Education Pedagogical University in Kraków. Her research focuses on the history of World War II, especially in the context of the history of Poland. Author of, i.a., Druga strona sojuszu. Żołnierze brytyjscy w Polsce w czasie II wojny światowej.

Category II – Historical reportage

Andrzej Brzeziecki – a historian and journalist. Editor-in-chief of “Nowa Europa Wschodnia” in the years 2008–2019. Author and co-author of, i.a., Czerniawski. Polak, który oszukał Hitlera.

Magda Łucyan – a journalist and reporter. Author of a series of interviews with witnesses to the 20th-century history broadcast by TVN24 and of the book Powstańcy. Ostatni świadkowie walczącej Warszawy.

Krzysztof Mordyński – a doctor of art history, researcher of the history of urban planning and architecture of Warsaw. Author of, i.a., Piękno niedostrzegane. Detal architektoniczny zabytkowego terenu Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego.

Jane Rogoyska – a British writer, historian and film director. Her research is devoted to the history of the 20th century, with a special focus on Poland. Author of, i.a., Gerda Taro. Inventing Robert Capa.

Tomasz Słomczyński – a journalist who has worked for numerous national and regional Polish media outlets, founder and editor-in-chief of the internet magazine Magazyn Kaszuby. Author and co-author of books, i.a., Pogrzebani nocą. Ofiary Grudnia ’70 na Wybrzeżu Gdańskim.

 

Category III – Special prize

Stanislav Aseyev – a Ukrainian writer and journalist from Donetsk, who was imprisoned and tortured for publishing reportages on the situation in the Donbas region; his texts were subsequently published in the collection entitled In Isolation: Dispatches from Occupied Donbas.

Jolanta Darczewska – a doctor of the humanities, translator, expert in the field of security in post-Soviet regions. Director of the Center for Eastern Studies in the years 2007–2011. Author of, i.a., Obrońcy oblężonej twierdzy: uwagi na temat historycznej legitymizacji służb specjalnych Rosji.

Tomáš Forró – a Slovak reporter who focuses on political crises and military conflicts. Author of reportages from, i.a., Latin America, Eastern Asia and Ukraine. His most recent publication is Zlatá horúčka. Venezuela – od ropnej veľmoci k úpadku ľudskej civilizácie [A gold rush. Venezuela – from an oil power to a collapsed state].

Joanna Getka – a professor at the University of Warsaw, head of the Department of Central and East European Intercultural Studies. Co-editor of, i.a., Tożsamość białoruska: doświadczenia przeszłości i wyzwania teraźniejszości: w 30. rocznicę uzyskania przez Białoruś niepodległości.

Wojciech Mucha – a journalist, editor-in-chief of “Dziennik Polski” and “Gazeta Krakowska”, former head of the opinion section of “Gazeta Polska.” Co-author of, i.a., the collection of interviews entitled Matki niepokornych.

Paweł Pieniążek – a journalist working for „Tygodnik Powszechny.” Author of reportages from. i.a.,  Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine. His most recent publication is Po kalifacie. Nowa wojna w Syrii.

See also