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a day with Yahad - In Unum

For more information about the study group we joined this day, see the Yahad - In Unum blog.
For more information about the organization and their work on the Holocaust by Bullets, please see the Yahad - In Unum website.
we join the study group early for a bus ride to the east side of Lviv...
we join the study group early for a bus ride to the east side of Lviv...
...to meet a witness to killings in the Lisinitchi fields
...to meet a witness to killings in the Lisinitchi fields
Adolf describes what he saw, as a 12-year-old in 1943
Adolf describes what he saw, as a 12-year-old in 1943
the translator repeats in French
the translator repeats in French
Adolf provided testimony for the Yahad work in the area during the past decade
Adolf provided testimony for the Yahad work in the area during the past decade
on the bus again, to the forest itself
on the bus again, to the forest itself
the Yahad team and guests head off into the woods
the Yahad team and guests head off into the woods
a military memorial; there are no memorials to the Jews
a military memorial; there are no memorials to the Jews
the group gathers
the group gathers
Father Desbois describes the extent of the mass graves...
Father Desbois describes the extent of the mass graves...
...and the process used by the Germans and their forced or willing collaborators
...and the process used by the Germans and their forced or willing collaborators
witnesses say these hills were treeless during the war
witnesses say these hills were treeless during the war
over 200,000 people were exterminated in the region during the occupation of Lviv, many in these ravines
over 200,000 people were exterminated in the region during the occupation of Lviv, many in these ravines
for the rest of the study group, this day follows a long one at Belzec and Rava-Ruska...
for the rest of the study group, this day follows a long one at Belzec and Rava-Ruska...
...preceded by another two days in the old Jewish quarter of Krakow, and the camps of Birkenau and Auschwitz
...preceded by another two days in the old Jewish quarter of Krakow, and the camps of Birkenau and Auschwitz
Yahad staff and guests are tired but attentive to the unique issues of this piece of world history
Yahad staff and guests are tired but attentive to the unique issues of this piece of world history
Yahad staff mark the site of one of the grave pits where war prisoners and Jewish civilians were shot and buried
Yahad staff mark the site of one of the grave pits where war prisoners and Jewish civilians were shot and buried
later, the pits were partially emptied and the bodies burned by the Germans and forced labor in Action 1005...
later, the pits were partially emptied and the bodies burned by the Germans and forced labor in Action 1005...
...as the Soviet army advanced on the area...
...as the Soviet army advanced on the area...
...but the work was incomplete; others continued to dig the gravesites for metals and anything valuable (and still do)
...but the work was incomplete; others continued to dig the gravesites for metals and anything valuable (and still do)
heading up a hill to another of the many grave sites
heading up a hill to another of the many grave sites
the woods are a picnic and recreation area now, ignorant of the recent past
the woods are a picnic and recreation area now, ignorant of the recent past
we pause for a discussion of the events, and the recent investigations to bring the crimes to light
we pause for a discussion of the events, and the recent investigations to bring the crimes to light
Yahad has been gathering physical evidence and taking testimony from witnesses in Eastern Europe since 2004
Yahad has been gathering physical evidence and taking testimony from witnesses in Eastern Europe since 2004
the leaders of this trip pause at a memorial to Italian prisoners of war killed in the same actions
the leaders of this trip pause at a memorial to Italian prisoners of war killed in the same actions
on the road again, further east...
on the road again, further east...
...to the town of Busk
...to the town of Busk
the group exits the bus at an ancient Jewish cemetery
the group exits the bus at an ancient Jewish cemetery
a bucolic setting, overlooking a site of horrible history, until recently undocumented
a bucolic setting, overlooking a site of horrible history, until recently undocumented
Father Desbois describes the area and the events which took place here
Father Desbois describes the area and the events which took place here
and we head down through the cemetery to the killing field
and we head down through the cemetery to the killing field
the group includes people from a dozen nations...
the group includes people from a dozen nations...
...with many reasons to be here and learn
...with many reasons to be here and learn
the group assembles at the site
the group assembles at the site
from the killing field to the cemetery
from the killing field to the cemetery
Anton, a witness to the killings as a boy, arrives with his wife and a Yahad staffer
Anton, a witness to the killings as a boy, arrives with his wife and a Yahad staffer
he describes what he saw from a grange above the river
he describes what he saw from a grange above the river
the translator tells us in French
the translator tells us in French
the times are difficult for Anton and his wife to relate
the times are difficult for Anton and his wife to relate
a thousand Jews were killed here beside the cemetery (another several thousand nearby)
a thousand Jews were killed here beside the cemetery (another several thousand nearby)
the bodies buried by forced labor
the bodies buried by forced labor
a view up the ravine from where the events took place
a view up the ravine from where the events took place
a pause for reflection
a pause for reflection
the history is difficult to absorb
the history is difficult to absorb
gathering again, before the next leg of the journey
gathering again, before the next leg of the journey
heading further eastward
heading further eastward
a change of transport, to handle the rougher roads
a change of transport, to handle the rougher roads
into the forest near Olesko
into the forest near Olesko
Father Desbois waits for the group to assemble
Father Desbois waits for the group to assemble
this is a site with no markers or memorials...
this is a site with no markers or memorials...
...where women and children were murdered and buried
...where women and children were murdered and buried
it is a sacred place
it is a sacred place
walking back to the cars and bus, a time to think about what we've seen today
walking back to the cars and bus, a time to think about what we've seen today
while the rest of the group heads back to Paris or other homes, we'll stay on in Lviv for another two months
while the rest of the group heads back to Paris or other homes, we'll stay on in Lviv for another two months