Holocaust historian, author, and Georgetown University faculty member Rev. Patrick Desbois will present “Holocaust by Bullets” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 23 in the Fine Arts Center Main Theatre.
Fr. Desbois has devoted his life to researching the Holocaust, fighting anti-Semitism, and furthering relations between Catholics and Jews. He is a Catholic priest and president of Yahad–In Unum, a global humanitarian organization he founded, which is dedicated to identifying and commemorating the sites of Jewish and Roma mass executions perpetrated by Nazi mobile killing units, the Einsatzgruppen, during World War II.
In 2004, Fr. Desbois initiated an effort to thoroughly detail the nearly forgotten history of the genocide. Fr. Desbois and Yahad’s research teams asked the aging witnesses to share their memories and videotape their testimony. With their help, they are able to locate the evidence that validates historical fact and helps fill in the gaps in this chapter of the Holocaust. The goal is to identify and record each site of mass execution of Jews, Roma and other victims, to make sure that their traces do not disappear from the earth and that they can be respectfully memorialized. Yahad’s work aims to contribute to awareness and understanding of the “Holocaust by Bullets,” and to the prevention of genocide and mass violence in the world. Fr. Desbois’ work through Yahad has been recognized through numerous awards and public commentary in France and throughout the world.
Fr. Desbois is the author of The Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest’s Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews, winner of the National Jewish Book Award, and the recently released The Fabric of Terrorists: Into the Secrets of Daesh, based on his investigation of the Yezidid genocide in Iraq.
A powerful exhibit of Fr. Desbois’ work, also entitled Holocaust by Bullets, documents this lesser-known side of the Holocaust with eyewitness testimonies, photographs, and archival materials. It is on display in the Fine Arts Center Atrium Lobby until Monday, March 27. It is free and open to the public.
This presentation by Fr. Desbois is part of the Teaching the Holocaust Workshop held at Viterbo University and is part of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership’s spring lecture series. It is free and open to the public. No tickets are necessary, but seating is limited. For a full schedule of D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership events, visit www.viterbo.edu/ethics.