News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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November 7, 2013

CANDLES to show ‘No Place on Earth’ Nov. 8

CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center will show the film “No Place on Earth” at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. Admission is free. Pizza will be served at 5.

The film brings to light the untold story of 38 Ukrainian Jews who survived World War II by living in caves for 18 months, the longest-recorded sustained underground survival. The evening will include a discussion by Richard Hirschhaut, executive director of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, who has visited the caves in southwestern Ukraine.

In 1942, five Ukrainian Jewish families slid down a muddy hole in the ground, seeking refuge from the war in a pitch-black underground world where no human had gone before. They created their own society where young men ventured into the night to collect food, supplies and chop firewood. The girls and women never left, surviving underground longer than anyone in recorded history. After 511 days, the cave dwellers, ages 2 to 76, emerged at war’s end in tattered clothes, blinded by a sun some children forgot existed. Despite all odds, they had survived.

In the 1990s, while exploring some of the longest caves in the world in southwestern Ukraine, American caver Chris Nicola stumbled onto unusual objects ... an antique ladies shoe and comb, old buttons, an old world key. Was the rumor true that some Jews had hidden in this cave during World War II, and if so, had any survived to tell their tale? Nearly 70 years later, Nicola led four of the survivors back to Ukraine to say thank you to “the cave.”

The museum is at 1532 S. Third St. Free parking is available on site. For more information contact Dorothy Chambers, CANDLES program coordinator, at 812-234-7881 or dorothy@candlesholocaustmuseum.org.

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