NOVA Preview: Holocaust Escape Tunnel

April 6th, 2017–
On Wednesday night, the Museum hosted a preview of one of NOVA's latest documentary films, Holocaust Escape Tunnel for members of the VHM and WCVE followed by a panel discussion.
Holocaust Escape Tunnel centers around a group of archeologists who traveled to the Lithuanian city Vilnius to uncover pieces of history lost after World War II. For 500 years, Vilnius (previously called Vilna) was one of the most important Jewish centers in the world, earning the title “The Jerusalem of the North,” until the Nazis destroyed it. The Soviets paved over the remnants so thoroughly that few of us today know it ever existed.

Last summer, the team of archaeologists recovered some of this lost world. They excavated the remains of its Great Synagogue and uncovered a lost escape tunnel dug by Jewish prisoners inside a Nazi execution site. NOVA reveals the dramatic discovery and shares stories from the descendants of the eleven who survived. The documentary takes viewers on a scientific quest to unveil the secret history of Vilnius and shed light on a nearly forgotten chapter of the Holocaust. Holocaust Escape Tunnel premieres April 19th, 2017 at 9PM on WVCE | PBS.

After the film ended, the audience was able to ask questions to a panel of experts and was made available to view on facebook live. Panelists included Paula Apsell, the Senior Executive Producer of NOVA's WGBH Science Unit; Dr. Richard A. Freund, one of the lead archaeologist on the Vilinus team and is the Director of Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford; Kirk Wolfinger, Executive Producer and Director of Holocaust Escape Tunnel as well as countless other award-winning documentaries; and Dr. Charles Sydnor, the VHM's Senior Historian.