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Item Number:
180 min.
Closed Caption:
WGBH Boston Video
Grade Level:
7 - 12
On November 8, 1942, Nazi soldiers rounded up the Jews living in a shtetl, a small village, in Bransk, Poland, and ordered the town's farmers to provide horse wagons to transport them to a nearby train station. Within twenty-four hours, 2,500 Jews from Bransk died in Treblinka's gas chambers. Their shtetl died with them.

FRONTLINE embarks on a 3 hour quest to uncover the true story of Jewish life in Bransk, before and after the war. Starting as a pilgrimage by a Holocaust survivor from Bransk to uncover his roots, the quest is joined by a young Polish Gentile historian from Bransk who is also driven to discover the mystery of the last Jewish community.

A haunting account of the tragedy and its legacy emerges as townspeople from Bransk and Polish-Americans, both Jew and Gentile, share their photographs and stories. Today in Bransk, there are no Jews and many residents choose to forget. Interviews in America with immigrants from Bransk create a vivid portrait of a lost community and continuing conflict over who should take responsibility.

An unusual and important film, Shtetl is a universal tale of Jews and those who lived around them, and the controversy over the consequences of their tragic history.

Special DVD features include: a brief filmmaker biography; a link to the FRONTLINE Web site; scene selections; closed captions; and described video for the visually impaired.

Also from WGBH Boston Video
Ultimate Journey, The: The Odyssey of Life
Ultimate Journey, The: The Odyssey of Life
Secrets of the Mind
Secrets of the Mind
Mansfield Park
Mansfield Park
Bird Flu - How Safe Are We?
Bird Flu - How Safe Are We?

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