With testimony drawn from more than 200 interviews with Yazidi survivors—girls, women, boys, and men—recorded during 11 investigative trips to refugee camps in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The massacre of the Yazidi people by ISIS was nothing less than genocide. In refugee camps in Iraqi Kurdistan, the authors brought a skilled team to interview more than a hundred ISIS survivors and document what they experienced and saw. These former slaves observed their torturers and know from the inside the secret facilities that ISIS has kept hidden from the world. What their testimony reveals is an organization whose ambition is power, regardless of their claim to be "soldiers of God." Their fighters are paid with sex, money, and the power of life and death over captives. Their promised paradise is here and now, not after death.
Men who didn't swear allegiance were executed. Women became slaves for sex or reproduction, and their offspring may still serve the cause. In mobile training camps, the captured children were drugged, indoctrinated, and taught to shoot Kalashnikovs, plant explosives, and handle suicide vests. They are the intended products of the terrorist factory. In this taut, disturbing account, the authors document a utilitarian genocide that still holds an implicit threat to other counties, including those in the West.
Based on a decade of work by Father Patrick Desbois and his team at Yahad–In Unum that has culminated to date 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: Mass murder does not happen without the neighbors. The neighbors are instrumental to the crime.
In his National Jewish Book Award–winning book The Holocaust by Bullets, Father Patrick Desbois documented for the first time the murder of 1.5 million Jews in Ukraine during World War II. Nearly a decade of further work by his team, drawing on interviews with neighbors of the Jews, wartime records, and the application of modern forensic practices to long-hidden grave sites. has resulted in stunning new findings about the extent and nature of the genocide.
In Broad Daylight documents mass killings in seven countries formerly part of the Soviet Union that were invaded by Nazi Germany. It shows how these murders 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.
Father Patrick Desbois documents the daunting task of identifying and examining all the sites where Jews were exterminated by Nazi mobile units in the Ukraine in WWII. Using innovative methodology, interviews, and ballistic evidence, he has determined the location of many mass gravesites with the goal of providing proper burials for the victims of the forgotten Ukrainian Holocaust.
Compiling new archival material and many eye-witness accounts, Desbois has put together the first definitive account of one of World War II's bloodiest chapters. Published with the support of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
"[T]his modest Roman Catholic priest from Paris, without using much more than his calm voice and Roman collar, has shattered the silence surrounding a largely untold chapter of the Holocaust." --The Chicago Tribune