Marek Haltof’s book about Holocaust film honored
MARQUETTE — Northern Michigan University English professor Marek Haltof’s book, “Screening Auschwitz: Wanda Jakubowska’s The Last Stage and the Politics of Commemoration,” has received the Wadclaw Lednicki Humanities Award from the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America.
He will be honored at the 78th annual PIASA meeting June 12-14 in Chicago and participate in a roundtable discussion of his book.
Haltof’s “Screening Auschwitz” was published in 2018. It examines The Last Stage (Ostatni etap), the first narrative film to portray the infamous Nazi concentration and extermination camp complex of Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The 1948 Polish film was directed by Jakubowska, an Auschwitz survivor. It introduced images that became representative of the conditions in the camps, from the arrival of transport trains and the separation of families to the belongings left behind by those sent to the gas chambers. The images helped to establish many of the powerful themes used in several later Holocaust films, including “The Diary of Anne Frank,” “Sophie’s Choice” and “Schindler’s List.”
The Wac#Baw Lednicki Award is named after the first director of the Literature and Arts Section of the PIASA. It recognizes the most outstanding book or creative work published, produced or presented in any of the fields encompassed within the humanities.
Haltof joined the NMU faculty in 2001. He has published several books in English and Polish on the cultural histories of central European and Australian film that have been translated into several languages. He holds masters degrees from the University of Silesia in Poland and Flinders University of South Australia, as well as a doctorate from the University of Alberta, Canada.