A single photographan exceptionally rare action shot documenting the horrific final moment of the murder of a familydrives a riveting process of discovery for a gifted Holocaust scholar
In 2009, the acclaimed author of Hitlers Furies was shown a photograph just brought to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The documentation of the Holocaust is vast, but there are virtually no images of a Jewish family at the actual moment of murder, in this case by German officials and Ukrainian collaborators. A Ukrainian shooters rifle is inches from a woman's head, obscured in a cloud of smoke. She is bending forward, holding the hand of a barefooted little boy. Andonly one of the shocking revelations of Wendy Lowers brilliant ten-year investigation of this imagethe shins of another child, slipping from the womans lap.
Wendy Lowers forensic and archival detective workin Ukraine, Germany, Slovakia, Israel, and the United Statesrecovers astonishing layers of detail concerning the open-air massacres in Ukraine. The identities of mother and children, of the killersand, remarkably, of the Slovakian photographer who openly took the image, as a secret act of resistanceare dramatically uncovered. Finally, in the hands of this brilliant exceptional scholar, a single image unlocks a new understanding of the place of the family unit in the ideology of Nazi genocide.
About the Author
WENDY LOWER is the author of the National Book Award and National Jewish Book Award finalist Hitlers Furies, which has been translated into twenty-three languages. Recently the acting director of the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Lower is the John K. Roth Professor of History and director of the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights at Claremont McKenna College.
"One photograph. That was what it took to start Wendy Lower on an incredible journey of discovery. Using her meticulous historical skills and her gift for shoe-leather investigation, she uncovers and tells a riveting story with implications for the the past and the present. THERAVINEis a compelling read that is micro and macro history at its very best."Deborah Lipstadt, author ofNational Jewish Book Award winnerHistory on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust DenierandAntisemitism: Here and Now
Through her international investigation into a single photograph of the shooting of a Jewish family, Wendy Lower presents the Holocaust on the level of personal crime, uncovering the identities and stories of the victims, including the Jewish child, the killers, the neighbors, and the photographer. Seventy years after the crime, Lower, a historian dedicated to unveiling truths, solves what would otherwise have remained a cold case. Her story is breathtaking.Father Patrick Desbois, author of National Jewish Book Award winnerThe Holocaust by Bullets: A Priests Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews
"An important and moving contribution to Holocaust literature. TheRavinedemonstrates how meticulous research, seventy years after the murder captured in the photograph took place, can lift the veil of anonymity from both victims and perpetrators.Jan T. Gross, author of National Book Award finalistNeighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, PolandandFear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz
"The profundity of Lowers commitment to justice is both admirable and evident. Meticulously researched and thoughtfully written, her book is a testimonial to the power of countering ignorance with education and the importance of restoring the dignity of personhood to those erased by genocide. An intelligent and restoratively compassionate historical excavation."Kirkus Reviews
Meticulously researched . . . [Lowers] search uncovers a wealth of information related to WWII in Ukraine and makes a persuasive case for how historical scholarship can help turn the wheels of justice. This harrowing chronicle casts the Holocaust in a stark new light.