Father Patrick Desbois, president of Yahad-In Unum, has devoted his life to confronting anti-Semitism and furthering Catholic-Jewish understanding. Since 2001, he has led a truly historic undertaking of identifying and locating undiscovered mass graves of Jews and Roma killed during the Holocaust in Eastern Europe.
Father Desbois, a French Catholic Priest, conducts his work by first having Yahad-In Unum researchers carefully review war archives from the former Soviet Union, and Germany. With this information, Father Desbois and his teams visit small villages across Ukraine, Russia, Poland and Belarus and interview the residents there who witnessed the killings. One site at a time, Father Desbois is unmasking what was a continent of extermination. To further refute the claims of Holocaust deniers, at each site artifacts are collected and most significantly, video testimonies are recorded from eyewitnesses.
These invaluable testimonies, which serve as important evidence of this genocide, are archived in Yahad-In Unum?s Paris headquarters and are shared with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum?s permanent collection.
It is estimated that in less than 5 years these witnesses will be gone.
To date, Yahad-In Unum has identified over 2000 mass graves at over 800 extermination sites; over 2500 witnesses have been interviewed.