Holocaust survivors hid in caves

National Geographic Adventure magazine features an amazing story about a group of Ukrainian Jews that survived for a year and a half underground. Living in a cave for any length of time is dangerous due to the risk of hypothermia, air and water contamination, malnutrition, and of course getting lost in the dark. It’s surprising how the families handled it and adapted to it. The Ukrainian American Youth Caver Exchange Foundation also has pictures of the cave, called Priest’s Grotto, that was their home for the majority of the time.

Can you imagine living in darkness for almost a year?

They had few candles, so light was limited to three short periods each day. After enough time spent wandering in the dark, they memorized the feel of the cave floor on their bare feet. It was like directions in braille.