Lorrie Greenhouse Gardella, JD, MSW, ACSW, professor and associate dean at Saint Joseph College School of Graduate and Professional Studies has written a new book titled The Life and Thought of Louis Lowy: Social Work Through the Holocaust (Syracuse University Press, October 2011). The book captures the experiences and social work philosophy of Holocaust survivor and renowned social work educator Professor Louis Lowy.
According to Professor Gardella, Louis Lowy’s wife Ditta and several of his faculty colleagues from Boston University School of Social Work invited her to write his biography based on an unfinished oral narrative. “It was a great honor to present Professor Lowy’s story and to complete the project that he had begun.”
An international social worker and gerontologist who was professor emeritus at Boston University School of Social Work, Professor Louis Lowy (1920 – 1991), rarely spoke publicly about the Holocaust. During the last months of his life, however, he recorded an oral narrative that explored his activities during the Holocaust as the formative experiences of his career. Whether caring for youth in concentration camps, leading an escape from a death march, or forming the self-government of a Jewish displaced persons center, Louis Lowy was guided by principles that would later inform his professional identity as a social worker, including the values of human worth and self-determination, the interdependence of generations, and the need for social participation and lifelong learning.
Drawing on Professor Lowy’s oral narrative and accounts from three other Holocaust survivors who witnessed his work in the Terezín ghetto and the Deggendorf Displaced Persons Center, Lorrie Greenhouse Gardella offers a rich portrait of Professor Lowy’s personal and professional legacy. In chronicling his life, Professor Gardella also uncovers a larger story about Jewish history and the meaning of the Holocaust in the development of the social work profession.