There Was A Shtetl In Lithuania:
Dusiat Reflected In Reminiscences

(Dusetos, Lithuania)

Translation of
Ayara Hayeta B'Lita: Dusiat B'Rei Hazichronot

Published by the JewishGen Press

Compiled by Sara Weiss-Slep
Edited and produced by Hedva Scop and Olga Zabludoff
Cover Design: Rachel Klein/Klein Design Hard Cover, 11” by 8.5”,
960 pages with all illustrations of the original Yizkor book

Available from for $50.00


With the publication of There Was A Shtetl In Lithuania: Dusiat Reflected In Reminiscences, all descendants of the shtetl Dusiat (Dusetos) will now have a virtual encyclopedia in the English language of their ancestral shtetl. Published by the JewishGen Yizkor-Books-in-Print project, this title is the 70th Yizkor book produced by the project. At 960 pages, it is also the largest Yizkor volume yet published by JewishGen.

The book is divided into three parts: Life in the Shtetl; Sailing Afar; The Annihilation of the Shtetl. Part One covers the history of Dusiat, citing both published sources as well as personal narrative and memoirs. Included are maps of Lithuania and a detailed “Face of the Shtetl” which illustrates the precise locations of the homes and businesses of the residents. Part Two focuses on the emigration movement and the organizations which helped create the Diaspora. The Annihilation of the Shtetl – Part Three – recounts the years leading to the outbreak of World War II and the Holocaust and its aftermath.

The volume is the culmination of the original Hebrew book and its succeeding English translation coupled with yet further research and additional text, graphics and photographs. Richly illustrated with hundreds of images, the epic volume includes a comprehensive index, making it easy for readers to locate the names of all the Dusiaters mentioned in the text.

Referred to as a Kaddish for Dusiat, There Was A Shtetl In Lithuania serves as a paradigm for all shtetlach in Lithuania whose inhabitants shared similar lives and a common fate. But striking on a note of hope, the book is far more than the story of the life and death of a shtetl. It is also a celebration of the life of the people of this unique yet typical Jewish community. While most from that community perished at the hands of local collaborators who were more than willing to become the executioners for the Nazis, there were the few who survived, who bore descendants. And there were those who escaped the mass graves by fleeing to the far corners of the world before the fateful day of June 22, 1941. The writers and narrators of the book follow these descendants of the original Dusiaters as they return to their shtetl, the third and the fourth generations who carry on the story of Dusiat.


An endorsement:

“My grandfather Benjamin came to America in the early 1900s. We knew very little about him or where he came from. He didn't talk about it much. It has taken more than 100 years to discover the name of the town: Dusiat. Dayenu! For a while, we thought that was enough. Then came a book - - There Was a Shtetl in Lithuania. This massive tome is filled with stories, photos, maps, and names. It is truly a treasure trove of information with anecdotes both amusing and heart wrenching. My grandfather may have kept quiet, but this book speaks loudly and in great detail, portraying what his life was like and who his neighbors and family were. Just looking through the Index, I spotted two dozen villagers who shared our last name. Fascinating. Kudos to the hardworking and dedicated collaborators who brought these truths to the printed page in English and made it possible for me and for generations to come to learn about their past.”

Amy Hale, Granddaughter of Benjamin Seligson
Daughter of Rhoda Seligson Mantel


Located at: 5545' North Latitude and 2551' East Longitude

Alternate names: Dusetos [Lith], Dusiat [Yid], Dusiaty [Rus, Pol], Duseati, Dusetoi, Dusjaty, Dusyat, Dusetai, Dosetas


Nearby Jewish Communities:

    Antaliepte 6 miles S
    Jūžintai 7 miles WNW
    Neciuniskiai 10 miles W
    Užpaliai 12 miles SW
    Obeliai 13 miles N
    Kamajai 14 miles WNW
    Zarasai 16 miles E
    Salakas 16 miles SE
    Vyžuonos 17 miles SW
    Eglaine, Latvia 18 miles NE
    Rokiškis 18 miles NW
    Panemunėlis 18 miles NW
    Subate, Latvia 19 miles N
    Svėdasai 19 miles WSW


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Updated 15 Oct 2022 by LA