Virtual Event: Wendy Lower
A Family, a Photograph, a Holocaust Massacre Revealed
in conversation with JOSHUA RUBENSTEIN
March 30, 2021
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes WENDY LOWER—the John K. Roth Professor in History at Claremont McKenna College and author of Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields—for a discussion of her latest book, The Ravine: A Family, a Photograph, a Holocaust Massacre Revealed. She will be joined in conversation by JOSHUA RUBENSTEIN, associate, Harvard University's Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.
Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store
While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $5 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of The Ravine on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About The Ravine
In 2009, the acclaimed author of Hitler’s 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 shooter’s 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. And—only one of the shocking revelations of Wendy Lower’s brilliant ten-year investigation of this image—the shins of another child, slipping from the woman’s lap.
Wendy Lower’s forensic and archival detective work—in Ukraine, Germany, Slovakia, Israel, and the United States—recovers astonishing layers of detail concerning the open-air massacres in Ukraine. The identities of mother and children, of the killers—and, remarkably, of the Slovakian photographer who openly took the image, as a secret act of resistance—are 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.
Praise for The Ravine
"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. The Ravine is a compelling read that is micro and macro history at its very best." —Deborah Lipstadt, author of History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier
“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 The Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest’s Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews
"An important and moving contribution to Holocaust literature. The Ravine demonstrates 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 finalist Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland
Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.
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