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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Introductory Remarks for Father Desbois Event

Hannah Rosenthal
Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism 
The Treaty Room
Washington, DC
May 12, 2011


Thank you for joining us this morning in the historic Treaty Room. Past and present Secretaries of State and scores of diplomats have gathered to witness important events here. I am pleased to recognize the Ambassador-designate for International Religious Freedom, Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook. We look forward to having her on board next week.

Today marks another special occasion as we honor Father Patrick Desbois and his life’s work to uncover millions of uncounted victims of the Holocaust. Through his steadfast efforts in Eastern Europe, Father Desbois has met elderly townspeople and recorded their stories, their information, and they have been eyewitnesses to unspeakable things.

We’re going to first see a short video, very short video, that shows some of the work that Father Desbois does with his team, and then we’re going to hear from him personally.  Father Desbois founded an organization called “Yahad-in-Unum,” which is “together” in Hebrew and Latin.

He has made it his life’s mission to find the graves—the unmarked graves, the never-before-known graves—of millions of people, and he’ll tell you how he does it, and he’ll tell you what it means to him and why he’s doing it. So first, sit quietly as we watch this short video, and then we will welcome Father Desbois here to speak to us.


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