Thursday, April 19, 2012

Zvenigorodka and Father Patrick Desbois

Last night, I heard Father Patrick Desbois, a Catholic priest, speak at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. We began with a short video, followed by remarks and then the traditional interview by Rabbi Wolpe. Father Desbois runs Yahad - In Unum, "the leading research organization investigating the mass executions of 1.5 million Jews and Roma/Gypsy people in Eastern Europe between 1941 and 1944. This is sometimes referred to as "The Holocaust by Bullets," the title of a book written by Yahad's president, Father Patrick Desbois. While the atrocities of the concentration camps are well-known, this genocide perpetrated in the former Soviet Union against Jews, Roma and other victims of the Nazis and their allies is not. Through its investigation, Yahad - In Unum has discovered hundreds of mass graves of victims murdered in Eastern Europe and recorded the testimony of more than 1,850 witnesses..." Rabbi Wolpe asked some tough questions, as well, about his view of the Church, his faith in God and in humanity. Fr. Desbois said that there is the official history of the Shoah, which claims that everyone died in the camps and the true history or the "backyard history" (proven by evidence in the neighborhood) that there are mass graves in every city and town, especially in the Ukraine He says time is of the essence because he is "chasing death" - the witnesses are now in their late 80s and 90s. The mass executions were part of the Gernman plan performed by the Germand with the aid of the townspeople, some willing and some not, long before the camps were ever constructed. Here's one video and here's a video from last month at Tufts As for Zvenigorodka, his group has completed half of the Ukraine. Zvenigorodka will be in the next group. He has native speakers, videographers, forensic special;ists. His teams have Jews and Catholics and Atheists. They are all very dedicated. They plan ins advance with a copy of KGB archives and German records. They have a file on every single town in the Ukraine. So we will find out this year or maybe next year what truly happened in Zvenigorodka. Desbois and his group of 20 or so operate on a shoestring, so if you have $18 or $180, they can use it. His website is at

No comments: