2 November 2012
Press Release
Note No. 6368

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Note to Correspondents

Father Patrick Desbois to Present New Findings on Treatment of Roma People

During World War II at UN Kristallnacht Event

On Wednesday, 7 November, the United Nations Department of Public Information, in partnership with Yahad-In Unum, will mark the anniversary of the Kristallnacht Pogrom of November 1938 with a roundtable discussion entitled “The Holocaust by Bullets:  Uncovering the Reality of Genocide”.

The event will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at United Nations Headquarters in New York in the Economic and Social Council Chamber.

Organized by the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme, the event will feature the work of Father Patrick Desbois ( France), a Catholic priest and co-founder of Yahad-In Unum.  Father Patrick has dedicated many years of his life to uncovering the truth about the mass shootings that took place during the Holocaust.  His latest research focuses on the fate of the Roma during the Second World War, and he will present his findings for the first time to the international community during the discussion.  Participants will also examine global efforts to prevent genocide today.

Speakers will include Paul A. Shapiro, Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies; Karen Mosoti, an international lawyer and Head of the Liaison Office of the International Criminal Court to the United Nations in New York; and Gillian Kitley, Senior Political Affairs Officer in the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect.

Opening the event will be Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.  Ambassador Martin Briens, Deputy Permanent Representative and Chargé d’affaires a.i. of France to the United Nations, will also make a statement.  Pamela Falk, United Nations Resident Correspondent for CBS News, will moderate the discussion.  The event is open to the public and registration is required at holocaustremembrance@un.org.

Yahad-In Unum is the leading research organization investigating the mass executions of Jewish and Roma people in Eastern Europe between 1941 and 1944.  So that history not be forgotten, its researchers carefully review war archives from Germany and the former Soviet Union.  With this information, Father Desbois and his teams visit small villages across Belarus, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia and Ukraine and interview eyewitnesses to the killings.

To date, Yahad-In Unum has identified over 800 extermination sites and recorded the testimony of more than 3,000 eyewitnesses to these crimes.  Their findings are archived at Yahad-In Unum’s headquarters in Paris and shared with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  Please visit www.yahadinunum.org for more information.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, as a living memorial, inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide and promote human dignity.  Federal support guarantees the Museum’s permanent place on the National Mall, and its far-reaching educational programmes and global impact are made possible by generous donors.  For more information, please visit www.ushmm.org.

The International Criminal Court, governed by the Rome Statute, is the first permanent, treaty-based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, and thereby prevent future occurrences of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression.  Please visit www.icc-cpi.int for more information.

The United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect works to advance national and international efforts to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, as well as their incitement.  For more information, please visit www.un.org/en/preventgenocide/adviser.

The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme was established by General Assembly resolution 60/7 in 2005 to encourage education about and remembrance of the Holocaust to help prevent future acts of genocide.  Please visit www.un.org/en/holocaustremembrance for more information.

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For information media • not an official record