A pioneering figure among postwar Holocaust scholars, Raul Hilberg wrote The Destruction of the European Jews (1961), a monumental, analytical, and somewhat controversial three-volume portrait of the Nazi apparatus that massacred over six million Jews. A native of Vienna, Hilberg arrived in New York in 1939, just as war was erupting in Europe. He spent 35 years as a professor of political science at the University of Vermont, but his most lasting contribution was as historiographer of the Holocaust. Hilberg was a longtime member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. In 2006, Germany awarded him the Order of Merit, its highest honor for a noncitizen.