Hebrew University Professor wins German Literary Prize

Historian Otto Dov Kulka wins prestigious Geschwister Scholl Prize for book on memories of Auschwitz.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Otto Dov Kulka, professor emeritus at the Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies, is the winner of the Geschwister Scholl Prize for 2013.

Prof. Otto Dov Kulka

Kulka’s book, Landscapes of the Metropolis of Death. Auschwitz and the Limits of Memory and Imagination, was chosen as the winner of the annual 10,000-euro prize.

Kulka was born in 1933 in Czechoslovakia, was deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp, and came to Israel in 1949.

Hi book explores his memories of Auschwitz, his days as a child there and asks about their meaning.

“With its images of remembrance, the book functions to change our perceptions of the past, thus generating new impetus for comprehending and living in the present. It is both an unconventional and gripping testimony — a book that makes it easy for none and deserves a broad readership,” the prize jury wrote. Published this year, the book has already been translated into 17 languages.

Israeli author David Grossman won the same prize in 2008, and in 1998 Israel Prize winner Saul Friedlnder won it.

The prize will be awarded to Prof. Kulka at a ceremony to be held at the University of Munichon Nov. 18 during the Munich Literary Festival.

About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.