Beyond Broadcast


From the Executive Producer
David Fanning

New Content Copyright © 1998 PBS and WGBH/FRONTLINE

photo of David Fanning 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.

To commemorate National Holocaust Remembrance Week, FRONTLINE embarks on a three-hour journey to learn what happened in Bransk. "Shtetl," airing Wednesday, April 17, on PBS, is the culmination of filmmaker Marian Marzynski's four-year-long search for answers to troubling questions about the Jews of Bransk and their neighbors--some who were saviors, others who were betrayers.

Marzynski, a Polish-born Jew who escaped the Warsaw ghetto as a five-year-old boy and was saved by Catholics who cloaked his identity, lost ninety percent of his family to the Holocaust. Marzynski returned to his own shtetl in 1969 but found himself unable to ask questions about those who had betrayed his family. He vowed never to return. But in 1991, he returned with an American Jew searching for his roots and discovered Bransk. There, with a Polish Gentile with a curiosity for Jewish history as his guide, Marzynski finds a way to enter his own past.

They emerge from their psychological pilgrimage with a deeper understanding of who they are, where they came from, and how the watershed events of the Holocaust continue to shape their lives. "Shtetl" becomes a universal tale of Jews and a cautionary reflection for those who lived around them.

It is a remarkable film that we at FRONTLINE believe you will find engrossing and revealing.

New Content Copyright © 1998 PBS and WGBH/FRONTLINE


New Content Copyright © 1998 PBS and WGBH/FRONTLINE


New Content Copyright © 1998 PBS and WGBH/FRONTLINE
FRONTLINE / WGBH Educational Foundation