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No Place on Earth

Hosted By: Sousa Mendes Foundation

An extraordinary story! In 1942, 38 men, women and children slid down a cold, muddy hole in the ground, seeking refuge from the war above in a pitch-black underground world where no human had gone before. These five Ukrainian Jewish families created their own society where young men bravely ventured into the harrowing night to collect food, supplies and chop firewood. The girls and women never left, surviving underground longer than anyone in recorded history. Held together by an iron-willed matriarch, 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.

The remarkable true story of No Place on Earth starts out as a mystery. While exploring some of the longest caves in the world in southwestern Ukraine in the 1990s, American caver Chris Nicola stumbled upon unusual objects… a shoe a comb, some buttons, a key. Was the vague rumor true, that some Jews had hidden in this cave during WWII and if so, had any survived to tell their tale? 67 years later, Chris leads four of the survivors, and their family members, back to Ukraine to say thank you to the cave.

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