The Wiener Library

For the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide

The Wiener Library Ernst Fraenkel Prize

The Wiener Library Ernst Fraenkel Prize (WLEFP) is a prestigious competition for book-length academic manuscripts on the Holocaust, its context and implications, and twentieth century and post-Holocaust genocides.

As the Prize reached its 25th anniversary in 2014, we wanted to re-evaluate its remit to ensure that it continues to reflect the Library’s fields of interest, which have evolved over the years. Following the death of Ernst Fraenkel OBE in late 2014, the Prize was suspended for a year in 2016 and we took this opportunity to work with our trustees and with the Fraenkel family to revise the rules of the competition and the subject areas it covers.

Please note that from 2017 there will no longer be two categories; WLEFP is a single prize of £5,000, open to anyone who has not published more than two books (monographs). Please refer to the list of eligible subject areas and restrictions before sending your submission.

The following subject areas are eligible:

  • The History of Antisemitism
  • The History of Nazism
  • Refugees and Exiles
  • The Holocaust
  • Genocide
  • Jewish History in the twentieth century as it pertains to the Holocaust
  • World War Two
  • Studies of post-Holocaust issues, for example memory, commemoration, justice, Holocaust literature and art, philosophical and theological responses etc.


  • Entry is restricted to an author’s first or second book (monograph)
  • The manuscript must be unpublished at the closing date for submissions
  • The work must be written in English
  • English translations of books previously published in another language will not be eligible
  • Book manuscripts submitted in previous years may not be resubmitted in any following year
  • The panel reserves the right not to consider any work that falls outside the specified subject areas or fails to meet entry requirements.

How to Enter

To enter please send your manuscript and CV in electronic format only (PDF or Word file) to Neta Lavee on

If you have any questions regarding your submission, please email

Deadline for Entry

All entries must reach our office by 5.30pm on Tuesday, 2 May 2017.

Winners of the Fraenkel Prize 2015

The Wiener Library is pleased to announce that the Fraenkel Prize in Contemporary History for 2015 has been awarded as follows:

Category A 

No category A prize awarded.

Category B 

Jointly awarded to:

Dr Ana Antic, Birkbeck, University of London, UKPsychiatry at war: Psychiatric culture and political ideology in Yugoslavia under the Nazi occupation

"Antic has written a remarkably original case study in the psycho-social impacts of sustained exposure to violence, both on traumatized individuals and on the psychiatric professionals who treated them as patients. Relying on an unusually rich record of patient files and case notes from wartime and immediately postwar Yugoslavia, Antic opens an unexpected window onto the mental and affective experience of everyday life in conditions of war, occupation and regime change, while also demonstrating the significance of this period as a key transitional moment in the intellectual history of psychiatry.  The study stands out for its deft balancing of the ideological, social and professional dynamics at work in this period, and offers us novel and compelling perspectives on Yugoslavia’s social and political history."

Dr Patrick Houlihan, University of Chicago, USACatholicism and the Great War: Religion and Everyday Life in Germany and Austria-Hungary, 1914-1922

"This is a sophisticated and elegantly written study that takes a fresh approach to the role of Catholicism among the Central Powers during the First World War, looking not just at Germany but also at Austria-Hungary. Using a wealth of wide-ranging sources, Houlihan challenges the narratives that have stressed secularisation, and emphasises the extent to which Catholic belief helped Germans and Austrians – women as well as men –  to endure the hardships and sacrifices of war.  Houlihan pays due attention to theoretical issues without taking refuge in them, and shows how the ‘lived religion’ of wartime Catholicism and its postwar vitality challenges us to rethink standard narratives and periodizations."


The panel highly commended the following entry:

Ned Richardson-Little, University of Exeter, UK: Between Dictatorship and Dissent: Ideology, Legitimacy, and Human Rights in East Germany, 1945-1990

"The committee was impressed by Richardson-Little’s lively revisionist history of human rights in the German Democratic Republic. He persuasively shows that, unlike other East Bloc regimes, the GDR state integrated human rights into its constitutional foundation and political identity, and made considerable efforts to broaden this so-called rights culture to the broader population. Among other findings, Richardson-Little shows that the state’s co-optation of human rights helps to explain why the Helsinki Accords did not serve as a watershed event for the GDR’s dissident movement in the 1970s: instead, its development did not take place until the 1980s and under the banner of other causes."