Skip Navigation

There Once Was a Town

In 1941, the German army invaded the small town of Eishyshok, Poland (now Lithuania) and brutally murdered nearly all 3,500 Jewish residents. Fifty-six years after the massacre, this video chronicles the remarkable journey of four of the town’s survivors and their families as they return home. Actor Edward Asner, a descendant of an Eishyshok family, narrates the film. (General Audience). Color. (90 min) The powerful, award-winning documentary is based in part on professor Yaffa Eliach’s critically-acclaimed book "There Once Was A World: A Nine Hundred Year Chronicle of the Shtetl of Eishyshok." Eliach leads the group of survivors and their family members in their search for remanants of Jewish life that flourished before the Holocaust. As they journey back in time, the survivors’ memories come alive with vivid accounts of their lives before the war, their escape from the massacre, their years of fighting for survival and the questions that still linger. The world of the shtetl is illustrated through thousands of photographs that Eliach collected, now on display at the United States Holocaust memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. (90 minutes)


Requesting Materials:

Cohen Center materials are available for school libraries to borrow for classroom use. If your school would like to borrow any of these materials, please contact Mason Library Interlibrary Loan at to register for a Lending Web account.

Contact the Cohen Center

Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Keene State College

229 Main Street

Keene, NH 03435-3201
☎ 603-358-2490