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College of Arts and Sciences

  • Wendy Lower smiling outside in a pink jacket.

Historian to visit USC, meet with South Carolina Council on the Holocaust

National Book Award finalist Wendy Lower will present a public talk, visit classes on campus and consult with local leaders on the importance of memorializing the Holocaust. 

Historian and author of numerous publications on the Holocaust and World War II, is visiting USC from March 13 – 17, 2023, to share her expertise with the campus community and to meet with leaders from the South Carolina Council on the Holocaust. 

On Thursday, March 16, at 6 p.m. Lower will present a public talk on The Ravine: A Family, a Photograph, a Holocaust Massacre Revealed, which investigates a haunting image of genocidal violence against a Jewish family in Ukraine in 1941. 

Through years of forensic and archival research, Lower sought to uncover the identities of the photographed and in the process recovered new details about the Nazis’ open-air massacres in eastern Europe, the role of the family unit in Nazi ideology, and a rare case of rescue and postwar justice. 

The free event will be held at USC’s Spigner House – Conference Center at 915 Gregg Street, Columbia, SC 29201. Registration is now available.

Additional events 

While in Columbia, Lower will also meet with leaders from the South Carolina Council on the Holocaust to discuss their study of her book and work. 

Lower is traveling with fellow Claremont McKenna College professor Jonathan Petropoulos, who is an expert on Nazi art plunder and art restitution. Lower and Petropoulos will spend time on campus with USC students and faculty, offering seminars and discussions about their work.  

On Wednesday, March 15 at 4:30 p.m. Petropoulos will present a public lecture at USC’s Anne Frank Center

Petropoulos spent nearly a decade interviewing Bruno Lohse, one of the most notorious art plunderers in history. Lohse supervised the systematic theft of more than 30,000 art objects taken from French Jews, with many found in his possession after his death. Petropoulos has dedicated years to understanding Lohse’s networks and the fate of looted works. In taking the story of Nazi art plunderers up to the present, Petropoulos offers a troubling portrait of segments of the art world. 

Presented by the College of Arts and Sciences’ Jewish Studies program, Wendy Lower’s lecture and visit to USC is supported by a generous grant from the Henry & Sylvia Yaschik Foundation.

About Wendy Lower 

Lower is the John K. Roth Professor of History at Claremont McKenna College, where she directs the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights. She has also directed the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. 

Lower’s 2013 book, Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Jewish Book Award. Her latest book, The Ravine, was longlisted for the 2022 PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award, short-listed for the 2022 Wingate Literary Prize and won a 2021 National Jewish Book Award. 

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