Barbara Jelavich Book Prize

2022 Citation Recipient

Grant T. Harward

The Barbara Jelavich Book Prize, established in 1995 and sponsored by the Jelavich estate, is awarded annually for a distinguished monograph published on any aspect of Southeast European or Habsburg studies since 1600, or nineteenth- and twentieth-century Ottoman or Russian diplomatic history in the previous calendar year.

Winner: Grant T. Harward

Title: Romania’s Holy War: Soldiers, Motivation, and the Holocaust (Cornell University Press)

This penetrating study, beautifully written and organized, makes an original contribution to the literature on the Holocaust and the Eastern Front in the Second World War. Drawing on an impressive array of hitherto untapped sources, from Romanian military records, soldiers’ diaries and memoirs, war crime investigations, interviews, and wartime periodicals and propaganda, Grant Harward decisively refutes lingering claims that Romania was a reluctant member of the Axis. This is the first serious effort to grapple with the beliefs animating Romanian soldiers–a volatile blend of nationalism, Christian faith, anti-Communism, and anti-Semitism–which both kept them in the field as Romania, became Hitler’s most reliable ally on the eastern front, and drove many Romanian troops to participate actively in political violence and genocide. Romania’s Holy War thoroughly revises our understanding of the bitter fighting and genocidal horrors in the critical Ukrainian theater of the war, the echoes of which still haunt us today.