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Publisher's Summary

In 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, based on wartime documents, interviews with locals, and the application of modern forensic practices on long-hidden gravesites. Nearly a decade of further work by his team, drawing on interviews with 5,000 neighbors of the Jews, has resulted in stunning new findings about the extent and nature of the genocide.

The mass killings took place across the Eastern Front, in seven countries formerly part of the Soviet Union invaded by Nazi Germany. They followed a secret template, or repeatable script, that included a timetable and involved local inhabitants in the mechanics of death to ensure complicity, whether it was to cook for the killers; to clear, dig, and cover the graves; to witness their Jewish neighbors being marched off; or to take part in the slaughter.

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.

©2015 Librairie Arthème Fayard (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. English-language translation © 2018 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

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Details of Horror


Remarkably researched and detailed, this book allows one to see the horror almost as if we were standing with either the victims or the murderers. There is a lesson to our time and place that this horror has really never ceased. It is still periodically appearing in our world. If we listen to this account we realize that we have a part to play in the continued violence and genocide. Read or listen and then pass it on to a friend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Wow! From Silence to Hair-Raising Details

Father Patrick Desbois brings to life the silence behind so many witnesses to the Holocaust through the search for the details of how the murders were accomplished in the eastern Europe countries where people were rounded up to be shot. Each of the work details seem to be identified and explained in the words of witnesses, whether they were recently interviewed or deposed in records from the time and only now examined. The author masterfully leads the listener/reader on the journey to examine how, when, where, and importantly the who was involved in the smaller yet overall crime. Excellent weaving of the rural setting in France, which some people might relate to other countries, with the rural setting of the eastern European countries of WWII and now. This is a fascinating book that was just released in audio format and I really could not put it aside for more than a few minutes without being drawn back to it. Haunting. Highly recommending this book since it has applications in understanding current events. Do not wait to read this book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Astonishing!

Absolutely unique, powerful, and highly disturbing information illuminates what used to be thought of as having happened in secret. As difficult as it is to learn details of the holocaust, the tone of the author detracts. For bless this dear priest, he waxes on quite incredulous that everybody was guilty and victimized, complicit and compromised in carrying out this "final solution". Still no other holocaust history book I've read in my forty reading years has come close to providing this detailed and painfully intimate account of the brutal and senseless "action". It is mandatory reading for anyone who hopes to maintain his humanity, but is absolutely not for children or the very delicate.