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German Non-Fiction Prize 2023: eight non-fiction books nominated

231 titles were in the running / Awards ceremony on 1 June 2023 in the Small Hall of the Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg
Erstellt am 18.04.2023

© Christof Jakob

Eight non-fiction books have been shortlisted for the German Non-Fiction Prize 2023. The jury selected them from 231 titles published since May 2022 and submitted by 128 publishers. 

Jury spokesperson Jeanne Rubner, Technical University of Munich, released the following statement: 
“Non-fiction books that encourage their readers to keep thinking and change their perspective – this is what mattered to the jury throughout. And the authors of the nominated titles succeed in this brilliantly. They shed light on current debates and crises, open up new perspectives and propose solutions. How much individuality can a society take? Is there a fairer way to organise work? Why do we find it so difficult to deal with refugees in a humane way? Looking back to history, the nominated authors explain conflicts such as the Russia-Ukraine war. Making connections between disciplines, they ask: How did morality develop and what are the limits of the human ability to cooperate? Taking very personal, autobiographical standpoints, they provide explanations for foreignness, the contrasts between city and country, and anti-Semitism. Intelligent, far-sighted, committed and knowledgeable – these are the qualities that make the nominated titles stand out.”

The nominated titles (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Omri Boehm, Radikaler Universalismus. Jenseits von Identität (Propyläen, September 2022)
  • Teresa Bücker, Alle_Zeit. Eine Frage von Macht und Freiheit (Ullstein, October 2022)
  • Ewald Frie, Ein Hof und elf Geschwister. Der stille Abschied vom bäuerlichen Leben in Deutschland (C.H.Beck, February 2023)
  • Judith Kohlenberger, Das Fluchtparadox. Über unseren widersprüchlichen Umgang mit Vertreibung und Vertriebenen (Kremayr & Scheriau, August 2022)
  • Meron Mendel, Über Israel reden. Eine deutsche Debatte (Kiepenheuer & Witsch, March 2023)
  • Hanno Sauer, Moral. Die Erfindung von Gut und Böse (Piper, March 2023)
  • Martin Schulze Wessel, Der Fluch des Imperiums. Die Ukraine, Polen und der Irrweg in der russischen Geschichte (C.H.Beck, March 2023)
  • Elisabeth Wellershaus, Wo die Fremde beginnt. Über Identität in der fragilen Gegenwart (C.H.Beck, January 2023)

In addition to Jeanne Rubner, the seven-member jury includes: Julika Griem (Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities [KWI] Essen), Stefan Koldehoff (Deutschlandfunk), Michael Lemling (“Buchhandlung Lehmkuhl” bookshop), Markus Rex (Alfred Wegener Institute), Adam Soboczynski (Die ZEIT) and Mirjam Zadoff (Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism).

This year, for the third time, the Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung des Börsenvereins des Deutschen Buchhandels (Foundation for Book Culture and the Promotion of Reading of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association) will award this prize, worth a total of 42,500 euros, to the original German-language edition of an outstanding non-fiction book that inspires social debate.

From the eight nominated titles, the jury will select the best non-fiction book of the year, which will be announced in Hamburg on 1 June 2023. The winner will receive 25,000 euros, the seven nominees 2,500 euros each. The awards ceremony will be held in the Small Hall of the Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg.

The Deutsche Bank Stiftung (Deutsche Bank Foundation) is the main supporter of the prize, which is also backed by the city of Hamburg and the foundation ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius. Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth is patron of the prize.

Get to know the nominees: conversations, films and blogger reviews

Together with its partners, the German Non-Fiction Prize offers its nominees a platform. Reading enthusiasts and book lovers can get to know the nominated titles and their authors through conversations, discussion panels, films, audio clips and in bookshops. More information about the events is available at: 

With the hashtag #sachbuchpreisbloggen, eight book bloggers will present the nominated titles in the coming weeks. Their reviews will be shared on the social media pages of the German Non-Fiction Prize.

The hashtag for the German Non-Fiction Prize 2023 is #DeutscherSachbuchpreis


Press photos of the jury and information about the nominated titles 

More information about the German Non-Fiction Prize 2023 is available at: 

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