Conville & Walsh literary agency are delighted to announce that Thomas Harding has won the prestigious JQ-Wingate Literary Prize for his book Hanns and Rudolf: The German Jew and the Hunt for the Kommandant of Auschwitz.In a rare departure from the norm, Thomas shares this year’s prize with Michel Laub who also won with his novel Diary of the Fall. The winners were announced last night at the winner’s event at the Jewish Community Centre London JW3 where both authors received a £2,000 split prize.
Harding, on accepting his award, said “Over the course of the six years of writing Hanns and Rudolf there were many moments in which I believed that the book would never be published. To be recognised by the judges of the Wingate Prize is that much more extraordinary. It is humbling.” Harding’s tale is a story of 2 opposing but parallel lives: his great uncle Hanns, a German Jewish Nazi hunter, and Rudolf Höss, commandant of Auschwitz.
Hanns and Rudolf reveals the untold story of Hanns Alexander, the man who brought a mastermind of the final solution to justice – it reveals, for the very first time, the full, riveting account of Rudolf Höss’s capture, an encounter with repercussions that echo to this day. Moving from the Middle Eastern campaigns of the First World War to bohemian Berlin in the 1920s to the horror of the concentration camps and the trials in Belsen and Nuremberg, it tells the story of two German men- one Jewish, one Catholic- whose lives diverged, and intersected, in an astonishing way.
The JQ-Wingate Literary Prize was established in 1977. The prize of £4000 is awarded annually to the best book to translate the idea of Jewishness to the general reader.
It is the only award in the UK to recognise writing by Jewish and non-Jewish writers that explore themes of Jewish concern in any of its myriad possible forms.