About Father Patrick Desbois
Father Patrick Desbois is the founder and president of Yahad-in Unum, a French organization to seek and to give voice to The Holocaust by Bullets, a chapter of history that has remained silent for far too long. Through the work with Yahad-in Unum, Father Desbois and his team identify each execution site and collect the testimonies of surviving witnesses. Without eyewitness testimony, it will be impossible to identify the location of the mass graves and collect the evidence of the genocide. To date, Yahad-In Unum has recorded more than 5,700 witness testimonies and identified over 2,300 execution sites during the course of its research.
Father Desbois is a grandson of a French deportee to the Rawa Ruska Camp in the Ukraine and is motivated by a compulsion to locate the sites before all the witnesses have died, to “bring proof of these assassinations to the world” and to assure that history does not die with the witnesses. To fulfill this mission, Father Desbois founded Yahad-In Unum in 2004. The organization’s investigative trips started in Ukraine, and are now being simultaneously conducted in 7 other countries of Eastern Europe: Belarus, Russia, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Lithuania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
He 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 2008 National Jewish Book Award. His latest book, In Broad Daylight: The Secret Procedures Behind the Holocaust by Bullets, reveals the untold story of how the murder of more than two million Jews was carried out.
Father Desbois has received numerous honors for his groundbreaking work on the Holocaust, including the Humanitarian Award from the U.S. Holocaust Museum and the 2017 Lantos Human Rights Prize. Very notably, the work of Yahad-In Unum and Desbois has been lauded by world leaders including Pope Francis and French President Emmanuel Macron.
In 2016, Father Desbois joined the Center for Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University as a full-time professor with his appointment as the Braman Endowed Professor of the Practice of the Forensic Study of the Holocaust.
In addition to conducting research on the victims of the Holocaust, Father Debois has devoted his life to fighting against anti-Semitism and all forms of mass violence. He has launched “Action Yazidis,” an initiative from Yahad-In Unum that collects evidence on the Yazidi genocide committed by ISIS and documented in his soon-to-be-released book, The Terrorist Factory: ISIS, The Yazidi Genocide and Exporting Terrorism.
He travels extensively for speaking engagements and has appeared twice on 60 Minutes. He resides in Washington, DC, and Paris, France.