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Warsaw. Grzegorz Piątek – the Kazimierz Moczarski for “The best city in the world. Warsaw in reconstruction 1944-1949”

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Grzegorz Piątek became the laureate of the Historical Award of the Capital City of Warsaw Kazimierz Moczarski. The architect and journalist were awarded for the book “The Best City of the World. Warsaw in Reconstruction 1944-1949”. The Youth Historical Clubs awarded the reporter Karolina Sulej.

The decision to award the award was announced in the social media of the History Meeting House. According to the organizers of the competition, the jury selected from among 105 books submitted for the award.

The jury appreciated “The best city in the world. Warsaw in reconstruction 1944-1949” for its innovative and panoramic approach to the topic of rebuilding the capital after World War II. The author showed the great urban problems of old Warsaw and little-known urban concepts of the twenty-year period, when the path of development of Western European capitals was sought. All this influenced how architects and city planners started to rebuild Warsaw.

Congratulating the winner, the chairman of the jury prof. Andrzej Friszke stated that “the most valuable in Grzegorz Piątek’s book is to show people – town planners and architects – gathered in the Capital Reconstruction Office, who took up the challenge of building a city”. Prof. Friszke noted that the author undertook an analysis of their biographies in the context of pre-war achievements and views. “Rebuilding and building Warsaw was a challenge that brought them together and allowed them to serve a great current goal beyond their differences,” he emphasized.

– I am doubly surprised and doubly proud because I am not a historian – commented Grzegorz Piątek. – The fact that this book was noticed in this competition is for me an extremely valuable confirmation that it has value as a history book. I hope that thanks to the award, the book will make the story about the reconstruction of the capital an inseparable part of the historical narrative about Warsaw – added the author.

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The laureate received 50,000 zlotys and a statuette – a replica of the sharpener of the patron of the award, designed by Jacek Kowalski from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.

Honorable mention for a book about the fate of camp prisoners

The Youth Historical Clubs 2021 award in the form of the “Pencil” statuette by Kazimierz Moczarski was awarded to reporter Karolina Sulej for the book “Personal belongings. A story about clothes in concentration and extermination camps”.

The book tells about the fate of prisoners of German death camps, who lost everything, including their previous clothes, when they ended up there. Taking all belongings from the newcomers was an element of dehumanization of the prisoners. The author also analyzed the significance of the uniforms of the German camp guards as a manifestation of total power over prisoners.

– Clothing can be a prop, a mirror, a help, an obstacle, a mask, armor, a manifestation. It is about power and subordination – emphasized Sulej. – I am glad that such a difficult topic reached young people and spoke to them – said the author, thanking for the award.

Prize them. Kazimierz Moczarski 2021 A. Uścińska / town hall

Who is choosing the winner?

Historical Award of the Capital City of Warsaw Kazimierz Moczarski was established in December 2018 by a resolution of the Warsaw City Council. It is a continuation of the award for the best book devoted to the history of Poland after 1918, established in 2009. The competition is open to original historical works (the first Polish edition of a book by a Polish author and the first Polish edition of a translation by a foreign author), journals and diaries as well as source editions.

This year, the books were assessed by a jury composed of: Andrzej Friszke (chairman), Antoni Dudek, Dobrochna Kałwa, Jan Kofman, Andrzej Krzysztof Kunert, Anna Landau-Czajka, Tomasz Łubieński, Anna Machcewicz, Tomasz Makowski, Daria Lipińska-Nałęcz, Małgorzata Szejnert and Andrzej Wielowieyski.

Who was Kazimierz Moczarski?

The patron of the award, Kazimierz Moczarski (1907-75), was a lawyer, journalist, writer, Home Army soldier, participant in the Warsaw Uprising. After the war, he was imprisoned by communists for 11 years. In 1949, he was in one cell with Juergen Stroop, a German police officer, an SS man responsible for the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto. The result of this was published in 1977 “Rozmowy z katem” – a book presenting the biography of a German criminal, revealing the mechanisms of operation of the totalitarian death machine during World War II

In November, we informed about the victory of Wanda Traczyk-Stawska in the Warsaw Citizen of the Year 2021 plebiscite:

Wanda Traczyk-Stawska is the laureate of the Warsaw Citizen of the Year 2021 plebiscite TVN24

Main photo source: A. Uścińska / town hall

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