344 Days Underground
Valeriy Gritsiv, author
The astonishing true story of Etcia Goldberg - a young Jewish mother in Nazi-ruled Ukraine, who went to extraordinary lengths to keep her family alive. Fleeing Nazi persecution and slaughter, Etcia survived the Holocaust by living in a dark, cold cave called Popowa Yama (Priest’s Grotto) with 37 other Jews for 344 days. They lived in total darkness and extreme cold, with very little provisions. Etcia was the only woman, as a widow, who was responsible for providing her family with food. She regularly risked her life alongside the men to hunt for supplies. Her children were her motivation to live. In 344 Days Underground we hear Etcia’s story for the first time in almost 75 years. Tenderly brought to life by her grandson, Valeriy Gritsiv, Etcia’s remarkable and poignant tale reveals the meaning of what it is to be human, and the true power of forgiveness. Etcia was a tough, independent woman. She dressed in men’s clothes to disguise her identity, broke herself and a group of men out of confinement, didn’t back down from the most extreme challenges, and did everything within her power to ensure her children lived. The war was a true test of her resilience, faith and defiant willpower. This book was written to tell her story with authenticity – so that her humor, wit, and will to survive would never be forgotten.