Historian Receives Slotkowski Award
AHA Staff, January 2002
Richard C. Lukas, noted historian and author of numerous books and articles on Polish history and Polish-Jewish relations, has been named the first recipient of the Kosciuszko Foundation's Joseph B. Slotkowski Publication Fund Achievement Award. Writer, consultant, and lecturer, Lukas was given the honor for his many achievements in promoting Polish history, and principally for his book, The Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles Under German Occupation 1939–1944. (University of Kentucky Press, 1986). The award includes a prize of $2,500.
Lukas's other books include Did The Children Cry? (Hippocrene Books, 1994), Out of the Inferno (University of Kentucky Press, 1989), and From Metternich to the Beatles (New American Library, 1973). Writing about The Forgotten Holocaust, the New York Review of Books said, "There is no doubt that from the very beginning of their occupation the Nazis were intent on destroying Poland as a nation, and in his absorbing account of wartime Poland, Richard Lukas outlines the variety of means they employed for that purpose."
After completing his doctoral studies at Florida State University, Lukas served as a Research Consultant at the United States Air Force Historical Archives before joining Tennessee Technological University, where he taught for 20 years. He retired from the University of South Florida in 1995. Among his numerous honors are the Janusz Korczak Literary Award from the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (1994), the Polonia Restituta award from the Government of Poland (1988), and the National History Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The award was established by Eugene L. Slotkowski to recognize authors whose publications improved relations between ethnic or religious groups. Slotkowski, of Chicago is a trustee emeritus of the Kosciuszko Foundation, and established the fund in memory of his father.