Phoenix Holocaust Association to bring Father Patrick Desbois and Holocaust by Bullets to Arizona


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The Phoenix Holocaust Association, in coordination with several organizations, is bringing a community-wide education program to Greater Phoenix in 2020. Holocaust by Bullets (HBB) is a program of Yahad-In – Unum (YIU), a non-governmental organization based in Paris and founded by Father Patrick Desbois.

With a life devoted to researching the Holocaust and fighting anti-Semitism, Father Desbois will deliver the keynote address for Genocide Awareness Week on April 20, 2020 on how Yahad-In Unum has identified and documented the murders of over 2 million Jews and Roma in the former Soviet Union at 2,700 execution sites in seven countries and with 6,700 videotaped eyewitness testimonies. Genocide Awareness week is a program of Scottsdale Community College.

Holocaust by Bullets will be a three-month program in Greater Phoenix from January 26 through April 27, 2020.

At the core of the program is a 2,000 square-foot exhibition that showcases YIU’s painstaking research enabling visitors to learn about this lesser-known facet of the Holocaust — which began before the creation of gas chambers — through eyewitness video testimonies, photographs and quotes.  The exhibition opens January 26, 2020 with a reception and lecture sponsored by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum featuring Dr. Wendy Lower, Ph.D., Academic Committee Chair, Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, John K. Roth Professor of History and George R. Roberts Fellow at Claremont McKenna College.

Students and the general public will learn about Holocaust by Bullets by touring YIU’s exhibit to be installed at both Burton Barr Library and at Noble Library on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University. There will also be a smaller exhibition of Holocaust by Bullets at the Arizona Capitol Museum. School field trips will be scheduled at Burton Barr Library, where students will be led through the exhibition by trained docents, hear local Holocaust survivors speak and participate in an art project.  Docent-led school tours will also be available at the Capitol Museum.

Teacher training is an important and integral part of the HBB program, including The Bureau of Jewish Education’s Annual Holocaust Educators conference as well as a 16-hour intensive training on HBB taught by YIU instructors.

“We believe strongly that we need to provide teachers with the background and tools to present the Holocaust in relation to current day genocides,” says Sheryl Bronkesh, President of the Phoenix Holocaust Association.

Lectures, films and book talks will also take place throughout the Valley.  The lecture series, which will take place at the Burton Barr Library during the month of February, will feature professors from Arizona State University, the Martin-Springer Institute at Northern Arizona University, as well as a Holocaust expert and daughter of a Survivor.

“We expect to reach upwards of 15,000 people through our programming,” says Bronkesh. “Holocaust by Bullets aligns with our organization’s mission. Our goal is to educate both present and future generations about the Holocaust and the dangers of racism and bigotry through programming that is open to everyone in our community. “

Holocaust by Bullets is being undertaken by PHA in conjunction with Scottsdale Community College. Other collaborating partners include Arizona ADL, Arizona Jewish Historical Society, Arizona State Capitol Museum, Arizona State University, Bureau of Jewish Education, Burton Barr Library, Franciscan Renewal Center, and Northern Arizona University, among other organizations.

Some Key Events:  (For a complete listing of events, please visit www.holocaustbybulletsaz.com).

January 16:  Arizona State Capitol, featuring a presentation by Marco Gonzalez, Executive Director of Yahad-In Unum — The legacy of the Holocaust by Bullets Today

January 26: Opening of the Holocaust by Bullets Exhibition, Burton Barr Library, featuring a presentation by Wendy Lower, PhD — Atrocity Photography in the Holocaust by Bullets

January 29: Bureau of Jewish Education’s Annual Educators Conference on the Holocaust

March 16: Opening of the Holocaust by Bullets Exhibition at ASU’s Noble Library

April 20: Keynote address by Father Patrick Desbois at the Franciscan Renewal Center and the opening of Scottsdale Community College 8th Annual Genocide Awareness Week.

About Phoenix Holocaust Association

The Phoenix Holocaust Association (PHA) is a partnership of Holocaust survivors, their descendants and the larger community. PHA honors the memory and legacy of survivors and victims, promotes awareness of the Holocaust, provides education of this and other genocides and contributes to tikkun olam, repair of the world. PHA offers, sponsors and supports a number of Holocaust education events and programs as well as provides speakers and materials to schools throughout the Greater Phoenix area. Additionally, PHA sponsors films, lecture series and Café Europa, a monthly luncheon for survivors, their families and friends to socialize and connect.

PHA holds an annual community-wide Yom HaShoah commemoration to honor local survivors and to remember the six million Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust. This year’s Yom HaShoah commemoration is April 19, 2020.

About Father Patrick Desbois

Father Patrick Desbois is a French Roman Catholic priest who founded YIU to research and uncover genocidal practices around the world and to give a voice of protest on behalf of all past and present victims of mass murder. YIU was initially founded with the mission of locating the sites of mass graves of Jewish victims of the Nazi mobile-killing units in the former Soviet Union.  His first book, “Holocaust by Bullets: A Priest’s Journey to Uncover the Truth Behind the Murder of 1.5 Million Jews,” is based on this work.  His second book on this topic, “In Broad Daylight: The Secret Procedures Behind the Holocaust by Bullets,” was release in 2018.  Most recently, he and his team at YIU have been gathering testimony from survivors of the Yazidi massacres in Northern Iraq at the hands of ISIS. This research is covered in his latest book, “The Terrorist Factory: ISIS, the Yazidi Genocide, and Exporting Terror.”  More information at http://spellcom.com/desbois/

About Yahad-In Unum

Yahad-In Unum combines the Hebrew word Yahad which means “together”, with the Latin phrase In Unum, which means “in one.” Founded in 2004 by Father Patrick Desbois, the organization is dedicated to documenting the evidence of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe and to work on the prevention of future genocides. Yahad-In Unum’s ongoing research on World War II crimes against Jews and Roma/Gypsy people in Eastern Europe has uncovered the location of more than 2,500 killing sites and documented more than 6,000 witness testimonies to these crimes.

Yahad-In Unum is not affiliated with any political party and does not advocate any economic or military action. Its mission is to discover the facts of genocidal practices wherever they are and provide a voice of protest on behalf of all victims of genocide and mass violence.  www.yahadinunum.org.

About the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. Its far-reaching educational programs and global impact are made possible by generous donors. For more information, visit www.ushmm.org.

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