In the soaring, three-story space that is the Tower of Life at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., sixteen hundred photographs collected by the historian Yaffa Eliach give face to a murdered people. In There Once Was a World, Eliach brilliantly and movingly records the history of that people. Nineteen years of scholarship, a poet's ear, and a storyteller's voice have yielded what is perhaps the richest, fullest, most detailed portrait of Eastern European Jewish life that we will ever have, a book that encompasses both the sweep of history and an intimate view of the day-to-day lives of generations of small-town Jews, in all their uniqueness and universality. Eliach's own roots in Eishyshok (she is a descendant of one of the five founding families and herself one of only twenty-nine survivors) gives her work an unrivaled depth and passion.
by Yaffa Eliach
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