Retired Monroe County Family Court Judge Anthony J. Sciolino’s book on the 2,000-year history of Christian anti-Judaism and its role in the Holocaust has been named winner of the 2013 silver medal for world history from the Independent Publisher Book Awards.
The book, “The Holocaust, the Church and the Law of Unintended Consequences,” was published in December by iUniverse. It examines Christian anti-Judaism and its role in paving the way for the rise of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich and the killing of six million Jews.
The systematic Nazi campaign to extinguish European Jews might have been prevented or at least minimized had it not been for centuries of scapegoating, demonizing, marginalizing and persecution, all of which were encouraged and sometimes initiated by the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, according to the book.
Judge Sciolino received his medal May 29 at a ceremony in New York City. The book awards kick-off the annual BookExpo America convention.
The Independent Publisher Book Awards were conceived in 1996 as a broad-based, unaffiliated awards program open to all members of the independent publishing industry. The awards are intended “to bring increased recognition to the thousands of exemplary independent, university and self-published titles published each year,” according to its website at www.independentpublisher.com.
Judge Sciolino, also an ordained Roman Catholic deacon, said he wrote the book as a reminder that the forces of bigotry and fear are as real today as ever and must, as always, be opposed by people of good will.
The book resulted, in part, from his participation as a presenter in an interfaith adult education course, “The 2,000 Year Road to the Holocaust,” that he took in 2007, not long after he retired. His research led to the presentation of a scholarly paper on the Holocaust at the 42nd annual Scholar’s Conference on the Holocaust, conducted by Monroe Community College in May 2012 and then the book which is available at BarnesandNoble.com and other online booksellers.
The book is being read by members of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys book club to be discussed at its next meeting at 7 p.m. July 9.
Judge Sciolino, a native of Rochester, earned his law degree in 1970 from Cornell Law School. He also holds a master’s in theology from St. Bernard’s School of Theology & Ministry in Pittsford where he resides with his wife Gloria. Their daughter, Kate, lives in Colorado.
Judge Sciolino was first elected to the Monroe County Family Court bench in 1986. He was re-elected in 1996 and retired in December 2006 at the end of his second 10-year term. In 2000, he became presiding judge of the Monroe County Juvenile Drug Treatment Court.
Prior to joining the bench, Judge Sciolino served on the Rochester City Council, as an assistant district attorney and worked in private practice.