Legacies of Dachau
wins Book Prize

In January 2003 Legacies of Dachau was awarded the Hans Rosenberg Book Prize by the Conference Group for Central European History. Below is the text of the award letter.

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page created Feb. 27, 2003, updated December 30, 2004
1/4/2015: Polish version (google translate)

Scan of Award LetterJanuary 4, 2003

To stand out among 49 submissions, the award-winning book had to be challenging and ambitious, theoretically informed, solidly researched, well-written, and nicely produced. The winner of this year's Hans Rosenberg Book Prize is Legacies of Dachau.- The Uses and Abuses of a Concentration Camp, 1933-2001 by Harold Marcuse, published in 2001 by Cambridge University Press. The title suggests only part of the sweep of this well-illustrated book. Marcuse traces the multiple transformations of the camp in Dachau from a concentration camp to a camp for displaced persons to an internment camp for Nazis to a heavily-visited memorial and museum site, but he also includes the adjacent site that housed first an SS garrison, then a US army unit, and then part of the Bavarian state police. These multiple uses, as Marcuse shows, point to the difficulty in fixing the memory of Dachau in both the professional and public understanding of the history of not just this site but also the broader histories of Nazism, the Holocaust, the postwar occupation, and the Federal Republic. The uses and abuses of Dachau illuminate how different age cohorts of postwar Germans selectively remembered and forgot parts of their history and how they created and challenged what Marcuse calls the founding myths of victimization by, ignorance of, and resistance to Nazism. Because these cohorts confronted each other as they evolved, Legacies of Dachau is a story of the intellectual growth of postwar Germany. Just as Dachau Concentration Camp is itself a site for education, reflection, and memorialization, this book will help readers better understand the events that transpired there and the complex, contested ways in which Germans have come to grips with those events.

Hans Rosenberg Prize Committee Jeffrey M. Diefendorf, Nancy Wingfield, Alon Confino

page created Feb. 28, 2003, formatting updated 12/30/04
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