One of the most striking exhibits in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., is the three towers of photographs taken in Eishyshok, documenting that shtetl’s Jewish life before it was destroyed by the Nazis. Viewers are encircled by 1,600 photographs collected by Dr. Yaffa Eliach, a professor at Brooklyn College who was born in Eishyshok. Now, Eliach has published a book that links together the moments captured in the photographs, presenting a full and textured description of the once vital community: It is a work about one town, with clues to many pasts.
Theodore Bikel says he identifies so closely with his stage role as Tevye the Milkman that he sometimes lapses into character. And, Bikel told an audience in New York this week, "people still approach me on the street to ask, 'How are things in Anatevka?' ": the fictional shtetl where "Fiddler on the Roof" is set.
Yaffa Eliach, Holocaust survivor-author-historian, first learned of a Polish priest named Karol Wojtyla some 30 years ago while working on her book "Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust." Wojtyla after World War II had refused to baptize a Jewish infant who had been put in the care of a Catholic by his parents, Holocaust victims. Wojtyla told the Catholic woman: Don't baptize him, but return the infant to his Jewish relatives.
Eliach told the story of the priest, who later became Pope John Paul II, in her book.