Congratulations to Jakub Gałęziowski for receiving a POLITYKA Book Prize!
It is with great pleasure that we report that Jakub Gałęziowski, a previous CHIBOW Early Stage Researcher, has received a prestigious history prize for his book, Niedopowiedziane biografie: Polskie dzieci urodzone z powodu wojny by the weekly magazine Polityka. Such recognition for his work shines an important light on the experiences of Polish children born of war, and draws public attention to the subject in Poland.
Professor Bożena Szaynok from the University of Wrocław explains why Jakub deserved this award:
Courage is the word that most fully explains the awarding of this book. It was needed to choose a topic, unknown and difficult, concerning children born of war, whose birth was mostly followed by wartime sexual violence. These were children whose existence was overlooked, children of enemies, of wartime forbidden love, with a difficult and painful identity made up of questions, often unanswered. This is a book about the suffering and loneliness of their mothers experienced with violence or social taboos, about decisions that were not easy for them, about difficult love, silence, rejection.
Courage was needed to go into an unfamiliar research space, as its subject matter does not have separate units in the archives. Behind this book is a great work that tells from many perspectives about the titular children, their mothers, Poland, but also other countries, the catholic Church, the attitudes of society, not easy everyday life. It also shows people who, in spite of social taboos, were able to see violated women. Describing each of these spaces is the courage to pose questions, a proof of the author's sensitivity, but also the courage to admit that the historian is not always prepared to encounter evil and suffering.
Congratulations to Jakub! For more information on the Polityka awards, click here.
Photos by Leszek Zych/POLITYKA