Erin McGlothlin, professor of German and Jewish studies and vice dean of undergraduate affairs, won the 2023 Sybil Halpern Milton Book Prize for “The Mind of the Holocaust Perpetrator in Fiction and Nonfiction.” Sponsored by the German Studies Association, the award is given to the best book published in the previous two years on the subject of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. McGlothlin’s book examines texts — nonfiction accounts and fictionalized portraits — that portray the inner experiences of Holocaust perpetrators.
The prize committee — Thomas Kühne of Clark University, Daniel H. Magilow of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Thomas Pegelow Kaplan of the University of Colorado, Boulder — wrote, “In her groundbreaking study, McGlothlin asks us to take a step back and consider how narrative strategies used in fictional as well as non-fictional representations shape how we look at and try to determine the mindsets of evildoers.” While these subjects can be difficult to examine, the committee called the work an “authoritative guide through the moral minefield.”
McGlothlin, who received the award at the 2023 German Studies Association Conference in Montreal, Quebec, said it’s particularly meaningful to receive the award because she is the first non-historian to win the prize.
“By honoring ‘The Mind of the Holocaust Perpetrator in Fiction and Nonfiction’ with this award, the prize committee recognizes the increasingly multidisciplinary character of Holocaust studies,” McGlothlin said. “It affirms the substantial contribution that scholars of literature and culture make toward understanding the history and legacy of the Holocaust.”