Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Review: The Ravine by Wendy Lower

The Ravine
by Wendy Lower

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 272
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  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.     

Kritters Thoughts:  A non fiction deep dive into a photo that is so disturbing as it recounts a firing squad in Ukraine as they kill their fellow men, women and children who are Jewish as they were advised that they needed to be eliminated so they can create the utopia they dream of.  

As Wendy Lower takes a deep dive behind this photo to find out who is in it, who took it and if there can be resolution to these heinous acts.  It was interesting to read a book (a shorter one, but a full one) that solely focused on one photograph and how these pieces of evidence were crucial when it came to finding justice for those who survived World War II.  

Although a little dry at times, I would recommend this book to those who have read all of the historical fiction books to see a different side of this moment in time and to find out how those who were left were able to find an ounce of justice.  

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 10 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Netgalley  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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