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In Broad Daylight: The Secret Procedures behind the Holocaust by Bullets

In Broad Daylight: The Secret Procedures behind the Holocaust by Bullets


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  • How the Murder of More Than Two Million Jews Was Carried Out—In Broad Daylight
  • Based on a decade of work on the Holocaust by Bullets by Father Patrick Desbois and his Yahad–In Unum team, which has culminated in interviews with more than 5,700 neighbors to the murdered Jews and visits to more than 2,700 extermination sites, many of them unmarked.
  • One key finding: Genocide does not happen without the neighbors. The neighbors are instrumental to the crime.

In Broad Daylight documents the mass killings Jews in seven countries formerly part of the Soviet Union that were invaded by Nazi Germany. Drawing on interviews with neighbors of the Jews, wartime records, and the application of modern forensic practices to long-hidden grave sites, It shows how these murders, this Holocaust by Bullets, followed a template, or script, which included a timetable that was duplicated from place to place.

Far from being kept secret, the killings were done in broad daylight, before witnesses. Often, they were treated as public spectacle. The Nazis deliberately involved the local inhabitants in the mechanics of death—whether it was to cook for the killers, to dig or cover the graves, to witness their Jewish neighbors being marched off, or to take part in the slaughter. They availed themselves of local people and the structures of Soviet life in order to make the Eastern Holocaust happen.

Narrating in lucid, powerful prose that has the immediacy of a crime report, Father Desbois assembles a chilling account of how, concretely, these events took place in village after village, from the selection of the date to the twenty-four-hour period in which the mass murders unfolded. Today, such groups as ISIS put into practice the Nazis’ lessons on making genocide efficient.

The book includes an historical introduction by Andrej Umansky, research fellow at the Institute for Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure, University of Cologne, Germany, and historical and legal advisor to Yahad-In Unum.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781948924627
Publisher: Arcade
Publication date: 01/19/2021
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 206,583
Product dimensions: 8.20(w) x 5.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Father Patrick Desbois is president of Yahad in Unum, founded with Cardinal Lustiger, archbishop of Paris, and Israel Singer, chairman of the World Jewish Congress, and holds an endowed professorship at Georgetown University. He is the author of The Holocaust by Bullets, winner of the 2008 National Jewish Book Award, and has received numerous honors for his groundbreaking work on the Holocaust, including the Humanitarian Award from the US Holocaust Museum and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize. He travels extensively for speaking engagements and has appeared twice on 60 Minutes. He resides in Washington, DC, and Paris, France.

Table of Contents

Historical Introduction Andrej Umansky vii

Introduction 1

Part 1 The Night Before

1 The Architect 15

2 The Requisitions 25

3 The Diggers 48

4 The Night 59

5 The Rapes 70

Part 2 The Morning

6 Barriers 79

7 The Column of Jews 86

8 The Girl in Love 93

9 The Director of the Trucking Company 100

10 The Transporters of Jews 107

11 The Layers of Planks 116

Part 3 The Day

12 The Dance 129

13 The Cooks and the Shooters 136

14 The Curious Children 147

15 The Child with the Bullets 155

16 The Forced Witnesses 159

17 A German Soldier as Spectator 166

18 The Transporter of Clothing 174

19 The Teachers 181

Part 4 The Evening

20 The Fillers 191

21 The Sale 202

Part 5 The Day After

22 The Auctions 209

23 The Coats 217

24 The Patchworker 223

25 The Sanitizer 227

26 The Method 231

Conclusion:The Photographer 250

Afterword 257

Notes 263

Index 279

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From the Publisher

Father Patrick Desbois's Awards and Honors

  • Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Jewish Theological Seminary, NYC, May 2015
  • CRIF Award 2014 presented to Father Desbois "in recognition of his commitment to the truth" by The Council of Jewish Institutions of France and recognized by the French President, François Hollande, Paris, March 2014
  • Hope For Humanity Award from the Dallas Holocaust Museum, Dallas, October 2013
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson Moral Courage Award from Houston Holocaust Museum, Houston, May 2013
  • Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, May 2013
  • U.S. Department of State Marks United Nations International Day of Commemoration for Victims of the Holocaust (Shoah) with a presentation of Yahad-In Unum investigations by Father Patrick Desbois, Washington D.C., January 2013
  • United Nations presents "Holocaust by Bullets: Uncovering the Reality of Genocide" by Father Patrick Desbois, New York, November 2012
  • Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from New York University, New York, May 2012
  • Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Yeshiva University, New York, May 2011
  • U.S. State Department award fromSpecial Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Hannah Rosenthal, Washington D.C., May 2011
  • Primo Levi for Peace & Culture, Rome, Italy, 2010
  • Memoire de la Shoah Jacob Burchman Award from the Fondation du Judaisme Français, Paris France, 2010
  • Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, June 2009
  • Honorary Doctorate from Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv, May 2009
  • Medal of Valor from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Los Angeles, May 2008
  • Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur presented by President Nicolas Sarkozy, Paris, June 2008
  • National Jewish Book Award (2008) for The Holocaust by Bullets by Father Desbois
  • Humanitarian Award, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington D.C., May 2008
  • Jan Karski Award, American Jewish award, Washington, D.C., May 2007
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