Avrom Bendavid-Val knows the power of keeping a memory alive. The story of his search for the town where his father was born - a town that had completely disappeared - is the subject of two books and a film. This is his message to his readers, family, and friends.
The season of the holidays is about to begin, starting with Rosh Hashanah on October 2nd. What better gift could there be than the marvelous and poignant story of Trochenbrod and its people from the first settlers in 1803 to its disappearance in the Shoah? For young and old, and for your Jewish and non-Jewish friends alike.
Wishing you and your family a joyful and fulfilling new year,
Trochenbrod's Story in Two Books and a Movie
The Heavens Are Empty: Discovering The Lost Town of Trochenbrod grew out of twelve years of research on four continents by the author, Avrom Bendavid-Val.
Trochenbrod was a bustling commercial center of more than 5,000 people, all Jews, that was hidden deep in the forest in northwest Ukraine. The people of Trochenbrod were slaughtered in the Holocaust. Soon nothing remained of this vibrant 130 year-old town but a row of trees and bushes in a clearing in the forest
An imagined Trochenbrod was the setting for Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel, Everything is Illuminated.
The Heavens Are Empty tells Trochenbrod’s story with maps, photographs, personal memoirs, and first-hand accounts. The first-hand accounts are those of Jews born in Trochenbrod, and of Ukrainians and Polish people who knew the town as children. The book’s storytelling emphasizes the life and vibrancy in Trochenbrod for many generations, before it was lost in the Holocaust. You can buy the book at Amazon.com, other online booksellers, and bookstores. Find direct links and more about Trochenbrod’s story at HeavensAreEmpty.com.
The Lost Town: Bringing Back Trochenbrod
In this book Trochenbrod’s story has been completely restructured, rewritten, and redesigned, including new photographs, to be accessible and appealing specifically to young readers ages 12–17. You can buy this book also at Amazon.com, other online booksellers, and bookstores. Find direct links and more information about this book, including information for young readers, at TheLostTownBook.com
In this documentary film, Trochenbrod’s story unfolds as the camera follows Avrom’s search to uncover the facts and spirit of his father’s home town, and bring together its descendants. The film features many fascinating Trochenbrod characters. You can view the trailer and buy the DVD or rent the download at 7thart.com. In addition to the NTSC version, there is a PAL version with Hebrew subtitles.
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