Milwaukee Jewish Federation
Press Release

Holocaust by Bullets exhibit opening features the founder of the investigations

Over 2 million murdered by bullets

By - Apr 10th, 2017 02:48 pm

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin– With a life devoted to researching the Holocaust and fighting anti-Semitism, Father Patrick Desbois on April 19 will reveal how his global humanitarian organization, Yahad-In Unum, has in the last 10 years identified and documented the murders of 2.2 million Jews and Roma in the former Soviet Union.

Father Desbois’ rare appearance in Milwaukee launches the five-week run of the Holocaust by Bullets exhibit at the Milwaukee Jewish Federation’s Helfaer Community Service Building, 1360 N. Prospect Ave. His lecture begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19 at the Ovation Jewish Home, 1414. N. Prospect Ave., with docent-led tours before and after the lecture. Cost is $10. Pre-registration is required to ensure seating at

Yahad-In Unum (“together” in Hebrew and Latin) is a Paris-based non-profit organization dedicated to systematically identifying and documenting sites of Jewish and Roma mass executions by Nazi mobile-killing units in Eastern Europe during World War II. To date, the organization has identified the murders of 2.2 million at 1,893 execution sites in 7 countries, which includes 4,714 videotaped eyewitness testimonies.

The exhibition presents the results of Yahad-In Unum’s 10 years of investigations and also underscores the “Holocaust by Bullets” as a precursor and model for mass crimes today. It will be on display, with free admission, April 20 – May 23. The form of genocide detailed is unlike any other research of genocidal activity ever conducted and presented.

The exhibit showcases the painstaking research to enable the visitor to uncover, step-by-step, the crime committed against Jews and Roma by the Nazi killing units. It gives viewers a chance to learn about this lesser-known side of the Holocaust — started before the creation of concentration camps — through eyewitness video testimonies, photographs and quotes on the exterior panels. Cutouts in the panels present archival material inside the module.

“Because some of the images are disturbing, they have been presented in a thoughtful and discreet fashion, enabling the visitor to view them at his or her own discretion,” says Father Desbois. “The visitor in effect becomes a ‘witness’ to the crime, choosing to delve deeper into the findings.”

Father Desbois is a Professor at Georgetown University, where he is on the faculty for the Center for Jewish Civilization. He also served as director of the Episcopal Committee for Catholic-Judeo Relations from 1999 until 2016, under the auspices of the French Conference of Bishops. His work through Yahad has been recognized through numerous awards and public commentary throughout the world. He is the author of “The Holocaust by Bullets,” winner of the National Jewish Book Award, and the recently released “The Fabric of Terrorists: Into the Secrets of Daesh,” based on his recent investigation of the Yezidid genocide in Iraq.

About the Milwaukee Jewish Federation: For more than 100 years, the Milwaukee Jewish Federation has been dedicated to building a strong Jewish community. We distributed $20 million last year to Jewish and non-Jewish organizations locally and around the world, and manage philanthropy through our $166 million Jewish Community Foundation.

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