Monica Black, an assistant professor in the Department of History, was recently awarded this year’s Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History (category B) for her book Death in Berlin: From Weimar to Divided Germany. The Wiener Library awards the prize for outstanding work in 20th-century history in one of the library’s fields of interest: the political history of Central and Eastern Europe, Jewish history, the two world wars, anti-Semitism, and the ideologies and movements of political extremism and totalitarianism. Located in London, the Wiener Library is one of the world’s most extensive archives for the history of the Holocaust and the Nazi period. Each year, it awards two Fraenkel Prizes. Category B honors first book projects.
Death in Berlin, which grew out of Black’s dissertation, traces the changing perceptions, rituals, memories, and sensibilities surrounding death from Germany’s defeat in WWI to the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961. Black shows not only how the dead haunted the living but also how loss, honor, and moral community were radically transformed in Berlin and Germany during the middle years of the 20th century.
Black earned her Ph.D. in 2006 from the University of Virginia. In 2007, her dissertation won the Fritz Stern Dissertation Prize annually given by the Friends of the German Historical Institute, Washington, DC.
Death in Berlin: From Weimar to Divided Germany (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
“Death and the Making of West Berlin, 1948-1961,” German History 27:1 (January 2009).
“Reburying and Rebuilding: Reflecting on Proper Burial in Berlin after ‘Zero Hour,’” in Between Mass Death and Individual Loss: The Place of the Dead in Twentieth-Century Germany, Alon Confino, Paul Betts, and Dirk Schumann, eds. (Oxford, UK: Berghahn Books, 2008).
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