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There Once Was a World: A 900-Year Chronicle of the Shtetl of Eishyshok
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There Once Was a World: A 900-Year Chronicle of the Shtetl of Eishyshok

4.4  ·  Rating Details ·  60 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
When asked to work on a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, Yaffa Eliach decided that the best way to remember the dead was to honor the lives they lived. So in 1979, she set about a 17-year project to reconstruct the 900-year
Hardcover, 818 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by Little Brown and Company
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Lewis Weinstein
Mar 23, 2015 Lewis Weinstein rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely marvelous compendium of detailed insights into Jewish life in Polish shtetls before the holocaust. Although focused on Eishyshok, much applies to other shtetls as well.

I am well along in my new novel set in Germany and Poland during the Nazi years. Recently, though, in re-reading some of what I had written, and comparing it with scenes from my earlier novel The Heretic, I began to feel that I was not adequately capturing the emotion that is my goal. I realized that I had be
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Lewis Weinstein
This is a priceless resource describing life in the eastern European shtetl of Eishyshok in the 20th c. In addition to clear text organized by the nature of the activity (synagogue, heder, bathhouse, etc.) there are numerous anecdotes that bring the text very much to life. There are also heartbreaking stories and photos of many of those who were murdered by the Germans in September 1941. I'm about 1/3 through this 800 page tome; every page brings something unexpectedly evocative.
June Sobel
Aug 29, 2015 June Sobel rated it it was amazing
One of the most remarkable pieces of non-fiction I have ever read. I visited Eishyshok (now Eisiskes, Lithuania) in July 2015 where my remaining ancestors from the neighboring shtetl of Olkieniki were killed in September 1941. I was riveted by this tome that recreated a historical as well as personal story by the author. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in the Jewish world of Eastern Europe that once was...
Rebecca
Apr 16, 2009 Rebecca is currently reading it
Recommends it for: jewish studies; cultural anthropology; holocaust
This is a big dense history of a single schtetl, from the Middle Ages through the Holocaust. Elliach is a good storyteller, but her attention to details and records is a little daunting at first. Taking my time with this one.
Robin
Jan 25, 2015 Robin rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
This book is about the people of Ejszyszki or the Tower of Faces you see at the Holocaust Museum. A large majority of the people were murdered with very few survivors that escaped. I didn't read this entire book but I did read what I wanted to get out of it. The chapter about the massacre is hard to read. I borrowed it from the library but may reread it in the future.
Lanell
Sep 12, 2008 Lanell rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't read this book word for word, but I did like the general knowledge of Jewish life of this one region and specific lives, most adversely affected by World War II.
Mary Narkiewicz
Feb 16, 2014 Mary Narkiewicz rated it really liked it
Have read some of this remarkable book. To be read again.
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Yaffa Eliach (b. Yaffa Sonenson, Eišiškės, (Yiddish: אישישוק/Eishyshok) 31 May 1937) is a historian, author, and scholar of Judaic Studies and the Holocaust. She is probably best known for creating the “Tower of Life” made up by 1,500 photographs for permanent display at the US Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.

Yaffa Eliach was born Yaffa Sonenson to a Jewish family in Eishyshok near Vilna, now
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