Father Patrick Desbois
Patrick Desbois, a Catholic priest and president of Yahad – In Unum, has devoted his life to confronting anti-Semitism and furthering Catholic-Jewish understanding.
The grandson of a WWII French prisoner held in the Rawa Ruska camp on the Poland-Ukraine border, Desbois began in 2004 to research the story of the Jewish, Roma, and other victims murdered in Eastern Europe during World War II by the Nazi mobile killing units, the Einsatzgruppen.
Since 2004, Desbois has led a truly historic undertaking, crisscrossing the countryside in Eastern Europe in an effort to locate every mass grave at which Jews were killed during the Holocaust. To date, he and his team have identified 800 of an estimated 2,000 such locations. They are also collecting artifacts and, most significantly, recording thousands of video testimonies by eyewitnesses.
Yahad - In Unum is the leading research organization investigating the mass executions of 1.5 million Jews and Roma/Gypsy people in Eastern Europe between 1941 and 1944.
The Roma Road
Produced and directed by Yahad – In Unum, this 13-minute video offers eyewitness testimonies from Gypsies (Roma) who were deported from Romania to Russia by the Nazis during the Holocaust. Police searched their homes, killed many, and forced the rest to live on “collective farms” with no food or water. The Roma were told they would be given plots of land and better lives in Transnistria; instead, they awoke each morning to find that others had died during the night as a result of the deplorable conditions. With starvation as the only alternative, some survivors resorted to eating human flesh of those who had died.
Desbois Presentation at Tufts University
March 13, 2012
The Cummings/Hillel Program for Holocaust and Genocide Education at Tufts University was honored to present a talk by Father Patrick Desbois on March 13, 2012. An advocate for confronting anti-Semitism and furthering Catholic-Jewish understanding, Father Desbois has led a truly historic undertaking, crisscrossing the countryside of Eastern Europe to locate the hidden mass graves of Jews killed during the Holocaust. To date, he and his team have identified 800 of an estimated 2,000 unidentified grave sites.