Duquesne University Professor’s Expertise to be Highlighted in Screening of Film About the Holocaust

For centuries, the Lithuanian city of Vilnius was one of the most important Jewish centers in the world, earning the title "Jerusalem of the North," until the Nazis destroyed it. About 95 percent of the Jewish population there was murdered and its synagogues and institutions were reduced to ruins.

Now, an international team of archaeologists, scientists and geophysicists, including Dr. Philip Reeder, dean of the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, are working to recover this lost world. They are excavating the remains and hoping to uncover one of Vilnius' greatest secrets: a lost escape tunnel dug by Jewish prisoners inside a horrific Nazi execution site.

On Sunday, March 19, from 7:05 to 8 p.m. in the Allegheny Room of the Omni William Penn Hotel, a special screening of NOVA's "Holocaust Escape Tunnel" will be shown. The film will premiere on PBS on Wednesday, April 19, at 9 p.m.

The screening will begin with opening remarks by Iris Samson, a contributing producer for WQED in Pittsburgh, followed by remarks from Reeder and Dr. Harry Jol, professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, who was also member of the excavation team.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Samson. Panelists include Reeder and Jol, as well as Vadim Altskan, project director of international archival programs at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Melanie Wallace, senior series producer for Nova since 1995.

The screening is free and open to the public.

For more information, call the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at 412.396.4900.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

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