Friday, 5 April 2013

Yom HaShoah - No Place on Earth

'No Place on Earth' is a new film detailing extraordinary acts of heroism and survival. For over 17 months Sol Wexler, Ester Sterner and some 35 members of their families survived the Nazis by hiding in gypsum caves in the Ukraine. Their first cave was discovered, the second was almost impenetrable, but prone to cave-ins. A man would stand with an axe near the tiny hole where people would drop in. If they didn't say the password, their legs would be chopped off as they dangled. In this manner they survived observing Yom Kippur and struggling to differentiate Soviet and German shelling.


The film is the work of a caver who, thought he was investigating never-before visited caves, but found mundane articles, muddy keys and the like, in the cave he was exploring. These objects were nearly lost forever, just like the survivors. Frankly, just like all of us.


Sunday is Yom HaShoah.

I will be sharing some teaching in the name of the 'Warsaw Ghetto Rebbe' during the Shabbat morning services and we will have the memorial prayer, but we won't be holding a dedicated Yom HaShoah event this year. That's a source of shame, especially as it becomes ever more important to remember, educate and tell this and so many, many other horrific and sometimes even inspiring stories of loss and survival. I urge all our members to take a moment to pause this Sunday, to share reflections with other and to engage with other commemorations.

There is information on a number of commemorations, including the National Yom HaShoah Commemoration in Hyde Park at


There is more information on 'No Place on Earth' at I was alerted to the film by


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