News Release

Holocaust survivors' story

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Photo of Chris Nicola, veteran cave explorer

Chris Nicola, veteran cave explorer, is scheduled to speak May 2 about his exploration and research on Holocaust survivors in a cave in the Ukraine.

Photo of Chris Nicola, veteran cave explorer Photo of cave markings in the Ukraine left by European Holocaust survivors 

Hear a National Geographic explorer describe how Jewish families survived the European Holocaust by living in the dark recesses of a cave in the Ukraine.

Chris Nicola, who explored the cave, then located aged survivors scattered around the world, speaks 2 p.m. May 2 in the Alumni Room of Atwood Memorial Center.

The free public presentation is part of a worldwide commemoration of the European Holocaust of 1933-1945, which resulted in the deaths of as many as 17 million people, including six million Jews.

In 1993, Nicola explored the hiding place near the Ukraine border with Moldova and Romania where 38 Jews avoided concentration-camp round-ups and massacres.

The entry to the cave is a small sinkhole in the middle of vast wheat fields, located during World War II on land owned by a parish priest. But, inside is a massive cave system 77 miles in length.

Nicola followed up his exploration with a search for the survivors. His work above and below ground is chronicled a 2007 book he co-authored called "Secret of Priest's Grotto:  A Holocaust Survival Story."

Parking is free on streets adjacent to campus and a dollar-an-hour in the 4th Avenue Parking Ramp.

Sponsoring the presentation are these St. Cloud State entities: Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education, Religious Studies and Outdoor Endeavors.

Partnering with them is the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, the public affairs voice of the Jewish community since 1939.

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