Gerald Steinacher

National Jewish Book Award Winner Gerald Steinacher's speech at the 61st Annual National Jewish Book Award ceremony:

Let me begin by saying what a great honor it is for me to be here today. 

It took me over 5 years to write this academic book. I traveled to many archives all over Europe and the US to research what I wrote. Sometimes I asked myself if the price of seeing this book published was too high. Especially when I was confronted by attacks from some Catholic circles, right wing political groups and neo-Nazis in my own homeland of Austria, but also in the US.

But whenever I was in doubt and struggling to continue my research, I luckily had someone approach me - maybe a friend, maybe a stranger - with words of encouragement. Like an email that came to me from a teacher in Oregon. He writes: “I have recently finished your book Nazi’s on the Run, and I would like to express how appreciative I am for not just pursuing such scholarly research into this previously unappreciated and therefore ignored topic, but also for making it accessible to a wider audience through your book.”

Or another email that reached me a few weeks ago just as unexpectedly: “So sorry no-one was able to touch base with you over the phone, but congratulations! Your book Nazis on the Run has been selected to receive a 2011 National Jewish Book Award in the category of Holocaust!”

Thank you again very much for this honor.