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Head of Zeus
The Ravine
The Ravine: A family, a photograph, a Holocaust massacre revealed Wendy Lower

'This book is an act of restitution' David Aaronovitch, Book of the Week, The Times

A strikingly original book about a terrible photograph – an exceptionally rare image documenting the horrific final moments of a Jewish family in Ukraine.

The terrible mass shootings in Poland and the Ukraine are often neglected in studies of the Holocaust, because the perpetrators were meticulously careful to avoid leaving any evidence of their actions. Wendy Lower stumbled across one such piece of evidence – a photograph documenting the shooting of a mother and her children and the men who killed them – and has crafted a forensically brilliant and moving study that brings the larger horror of the genocide into focus.

One of the most compelling themes to emerge from her investigations in Ukraine, Slovakia, Germany and the USA is the identity and the surprising role of the photographer who recorded the killings. He must, she assumed, have been part of the Nazi organization of genocide. The truth was different...

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * History
04 Feb 2021 * 272pp * £20 * 9781800246645
'A powerful account of a historian's quest to give names to these Jewish victims murdered in 1941 ... This book is an act of restitution'
David Aaronovitch, Book of the Week, The Times
'[Lower] hopes to recreate the details of that day in Miropol and thus reveal the networks of complicity that made the Holocaust possible. Here, she succeeds with a vengeance'
New York Times
'A riveting and extraordinary expression of historical excavation and literary non-fiction – detective work of the highest and most gripping order'
Philippe Sands, author of East West Street
'Lower certainly leaves no stone unturned as she recounts her mission in this fascinating book'
Jewish News
'Extraordinary and spell-binding ... A brilliant piece of dogged detective work but, more importantly, a deeply moving reconstruction of events that day' Daily Mail.
Daily Mail
'Lower meticulously probes the background of the photo, which was dated October 13, 1941 and labeled 'Miropol''
Times of Israel
'An important and moving contribution to Holocaust literature. The Ravine demonstrates how meticulous research, seventy years after the murder took place, can lift the veil of anonymity from both victims and perpetators'
Jan T. Gross, author of Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland
'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
One photograph. That was what it took to start Wendy Lower on an incredible journey of discovery ... The Ravine is a compelling read that is micro and macro history at its very best'
Deborah Lipstadt, author of Antisemitism: Here and Now
Wendy Lower
Wendy Lower
Wendy Lower is the author of the National Book Award and National Jewish Book Award finalist Hitler's 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.