A single photograph-an exceptionally rare "action shot" documenting the horrific final moment of the murder of a family-drives a riveting process of discovery for a gifted Holocaust scholar 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. von Lower, Wendy
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