Yahad – In Unum
Yahad - In Unum (“together” in Hebrew and “one” in Latin) is a Paris-based organization established in 2004 by Father Patrick Desbois and dedicated to systematically identifying and documenting the sites of Jewish mass executions by Nazi mobile-killing units in Eastern Europe during World War II.
The objective of this work is to:
(1) substantiate a “Holocaust by Bullets,” in addition to those Jews murdered in Nazi concentration camps,
(2) provide evidence of such mass executions to answer the Holocaust deniers of today and tomorrow,
(3) give proper respect to the victims’ burial places and enable their preservation, and
(4) disseminate and help apply the universal lessons about genocide derived from the work of YIU.
Current Organizational Goals & Priorities:
The core programs of Yahad-In Unum:
· Expand the work of identifying additional mass Jewish killing sites and collect forensic evidence of the executions and videotape the witnesses to these killings. Over the next three years Father Desbois’ aim is to expand investigations in Eastern Europe. There is great urgency to complete this work in the next several years because the surviving witnesses are now in their late-70’s and early-80’s and the first-person accounts of the history they experienced will soon be silenced.
· Conduct international workshops and graduate-level seminars to add to the scholarship of the Holocaust in particular and genocide in general. The Sorbonne in Paris and New York University are the organization’s academic partners. YIU also offers academic programs and collaborates closely with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
· Promote Holocaust education and information by maintaining a research center and archive in Paris. Thus, YIU’s findings will be available not only to Holocaust museums and centers around the world but to historians, researchers, students and relatives of the victims.
· The Holocaust by bullets is the model for the mass killings and violence today. To study the specificity of the Holocaust will help to other societies to fight against violence and to work on their own history in the same way the Jewish people have done after the Holocaust. Yahad - In Unum applies his methodology to study other mass killings and genocides in different parts of the world.
New fields of research
A planning process in late 2011 and early 2012 led to the expansion of field research to Moldova, expansion of work in Poland as well as work in Romania (which is specifically related to the Nazi campaign against the Roma.) A strategic plan now being developed focuses on the final years or field research and the growing educational mission of YIU. A project of investigation in Guatemala to study the cases of killings against civilians between the years 60's and 80's has been started in 2013 and it is now part of Yahad - In Unum's mission.