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GLIMPSING DAYLIGHT FOR the first time in nearly a year, little Mania Goldberg desperately covered her eyes with her hands, while her 75-year-old grandmother, overwhelmed by the bright sun, simply fainted to the ground.

For 344 days, they had survived Nazi persecution by living in total darkness inside a remote cave in western Ukraine known as Popowa Yama, The Priest’s Grotto, alongside 36 other Jews.

Remarkably, Mania’s widowed mother, Etcia, was the only woman to risk her life by leaving the cave each day alongside the men to hunt for supplies.

Now Etcia’s incredible bravery has been brought to light for the first time in 344 Days Underground, a novel written by her grandson, Valeriy Gritsiv, based on her recollections.

FULL STORY 344 Days Underground: ‘Who would ever believe we lived in a cave?’ (Jewish News/Times of Israel)

Photo: Etcia Goldberg pictured with her grandson Valeriy Gritsiv as a young boy

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