The Cave: Hiding From The Nazis

The Cave: Hiding From The Nazis

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This programme tells the amazing story of the longest recorded underground survival in history. After nearly a year and a half underground, the cave dwellers emerged in tattered clothes, blinded by a sun that some of the children had forgotten existed. This programme follows four of those young heroes, now in their 70s and 80s, as they travel back to the Ukraine with their grandchildren to re-enter the cave for the first time in more than 60 years.

In what is now known as Priest’s Grotto, the families created a refuge in a dangerously hostile environment. They were led by family matriarch Esther Stermer, whose fierce resolve kept the underground community intact. The teenage boys and the young men of the underground community put their lives on the line every time they had to venture out to gather firewood and collect food and essential supplies.

What they accomplished was remarkable. Every single person, from grandparents to a one-year-old baby, emerged alive. This remarkable story is told using a combination of archive footage and a dramatic re-creation of what life was like for the subterranean survivors. It is an amazing story of triumph in the face of the most unbelievable odds.

Comments (27)

  • Dave

    22 days ago


    For them in the states wanting to watch this documentary, this is only a suggestion, try using a uk proxy server. most UK TV site filter for out of country connections

  • Barry G Chambers

    22 days ago

    Barry G Chambers


  • Peter Aves

    25 days ago

    Peter Aves

    three items i chose to watch on OD tonight. None of them work. Grrrrrrrrr. Getting to the point on not botherinf with 5OD at all. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR

  • Lynette

    27 days ago


    I doubt I will ever escape the angst I feel after reading/watching/hearing stories like this: this is how it should be. We should all feel the pain our forbears brought in the name of power, even if we personally had no part in it we have a duty to ensure we do all we can to stop it happening, wherever and whenever it does happen. Don't make the mistake of thinking it could never happen to you or yours: it is happening right now in the Middle East, in Asia, In Africa and, maybe, on the brink of happening in the Crimea. If you want to know the future of humandkind, look to the past and LEARN. Please.

  • Thomas

    1 month ago


    My grandmother was sent to daukout consintration camp, she escaped by climbing into a trash container, this was dumped outside the gates in a large hole, she waited till dark crawled out of the garbage pit. Staying low to the ground. Made her way to safety of the woods. She said, do to the light rain, the dogs couldn't pick up her scent. She made her way to a Polish farm house, the family hid her, she had several times almost exsoposed herself. After the war she made her way to Berlin, where she discovers the results of her family.

  • Not a Happy Bunny

    2 months ago

    Not a Happy Bunny

    I really wanted to watch this, it was promoted in the states in early 2013......however i've refreshed updated my flash player thingy but still cant get it to work - REALLY fed up

  • Lois Wilkinson

    3 months ago

    Lois Wilkinson

    Its a wonder what humans are capeble of. these outstanding people will take an important role in my life. i will take the time to think of them everytime i use an electonic device and eat and drink. Inspirational.

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  • Anthony Finch

    3 months ago

    Anthony Finch

    A truly compelling story of human endurance and yet another to add to the long, long list of the horrific deeds perpetrated by the Nazis. These stories including such as Schindler's List should be compulsory reading in an international school curriculum.

  • Pat Murray

    4 months ago

    Pat Murray


  • Amelia

    5 months ago


    Amazing people who have been lucky enough to have their story told.There are so many other people who have stories ,from ww2, that are like this one. This a truly remarkable tale and I just can't believe that it's true! These ,honestly, are AMAZING people and I am glad they have been recognized.

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  • Peter Smith

    5 months ago

    Peter Smith

    Absolutely compelling story, I hope there is a repeat as I would want everyone I know to be aware of what these people had to endure.

  • Anne

    5 months ago


    I was with Fran on the same anglo- russian exploration trip on 1990. An awe inspiring story and a haunting place to visit. The sense of the spiritual presence of humanity in there as well as the remnants of the physical presence is strong.

  • Fran

    5 months ago


    I explored these caves in 1990 on an Anglo-Russian expedition, found all the bits mentioned in this film, it was so spiritual being in there, you know something special happened in the cave, it was really energised.

  • Kamila

    5 months ago


    This is such an amazing story full of courage, hope and fight for survival. What a special family! There is a book called We fight to survive written by Esther Stermer, one of the family member.

  • Ann Abrahams

    5 months ago

    Ann Abrahams

    Absolutely gripping. I can't stop thinking about what these brave people went through. I too would like to know if there's a book?

  • Harold Lawson

    5 months ago

    Harold Lawson

    An amazing and touching documentary of what this poor family endured. It is heart rending to think of the horrors and deprivation they had to suffer because of Hitler and the Nazis and their delusional mantra of blaming an innocent Jewish people for all the ills that befell the Germans after they lost their economy after the first world war. I hope these murderers rot in hell

  • G.

    5 months ago


    There is a facebook page which contains a lot of info:

  • Julie Whitehead

    5 months ago

    Julie Whitehead

    What an inspiration you are. These stories must be told.

  • ShelleyBlacksto

    5 months ago


    Such an unbelievable and powerful story Against all the odds the desire to survive and continue this families survival where there ended up 125 family members continuing their legacy I would love to meet these remarkable people!

  • Rob

    5 months ago


    As an archaeologist and having excavated in caves we always try to put together a story based on what we find. This is living archaeology and one can't help to be moved by such courage, bravery and fear. The families who survived for 18 months in that cave have my admiration. It is stories like these and others of a similar nature that show why we cannot let another meglomaniac try to take over the world. The determination they showed then could be seen at the end of the program when they entered the cave and the speed at which these elderly people moved through it. Their children grand children, great grandchildren and the generations to come should be proud of and carry the determination their forbears have shown. If they do they cannot fail to achieve all they want from life. My love and appreciation to the survivors

  • Matt

    5 months ago


    A truely awe inspiring story of survival against the most unthinkable perils... I wish you all live long and happy lifes.

  • Jeanette

    5 months ago


    Anyone know if there is book and if so what's it called

  • Jeanette

    5 months ago


    Anyone know if there is book and if so what's it called

  • clive

    5 months ago


    incredible story of survival how inhuman we are to one another yet find strength to live under harsh conditions. IT WAS A MIRACLE THAT THEY BEAT THE ODDS. A heartwarming documentary

  • Ian Zachary Whitingham

    5 months ago

    Ian Zachary Whitingham

    Excellent,Program Story Telling Show incredible humanity from The Jew,