Lower wants to do several things with this image. She hopes to discover who, exactly, the Jewish victims were: to say their names. Though she is an admirably dogged researcher — she uses, among other sources, live and videotaped witness testimonies, legal documents and grave excavations — in this she fails; their names are lost to history ... She also 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: Her chapter The Aktion is devastating ... There is a vociferous debate among historians and photography critics about whether 'perpetrator photographs,' especially from the Nazi era, should be viewed. Some argue that they revictimize the victims. Lower, rightly, disputes this, though in a sparse and not especially illuminating way. Yet her book is a refutation of those who urge us not to look.
The personal narratives and photographs throughout are rich with heartbreaking detail into lives lost and the severe persecution of Ukrainian Jews ... No comparable title exists that focuses exclusively on the mysterious background behind one single photo, making this compelling history an essential read for World War II enthusiasts.
... a researcher’s story, with fully a third of the book devoted to documentation. The measured, direct narrative style does not diminish the impact of this remarkable story, worthy of a place in any library’s collection.