In Shtetl (Yiddish for "small town"), critically-acclaimed author Eva Hoffman brings the lost world of Eastern European Jews back to vivid life, depicting its complex institutions and vibrant culture, its beliefs, social distinctions, and customs. Through the small town of Brafsk, she looks at the fascinating experiments in multicultural coexistence--still relevant to us today-- attempted in the eight centuries of Polish-Jewish history, and describes the forces which influenced Christian villagers' decisions to conceal or betray their Jewish neighbors in the dark period of the Holocaust.
As an aside, I am afraid of cult figures and the power they can wield over seemingly intelligent people. I was surprised to learn of a man in the 1750s by the name of Jakub Frank who claimed he was the Messiah. He wanted to rule all of Poland and had a strong sexual appetite for young girls and orgies.