Editor’s Note: The post below is signed by Emmanuel Cortey, Deputy Director of Yahad, who is accompanying the research trip to Romania (Nov. 22nd – Dec. 6th), investigating the persecution of Gypsies during the Second World War. Emmanuel Cortey joined the Yahad research team on Nov. 26th.
Saturday, November 30th
I leave early this morning from Galati, the Iasi Airport is more than three hours away. Lack of sleep softens the unpleasant sensation of departure. I watch dosily through the window the fields covered in frost roll by .
In the early afternoon in Bucharest, as I’m waiting to board, I get a call from Father Desbois . The research of this morning was exceptional. A long interview with the son of a militiaman who was in direct contact with the SS. “He saw everything,” Valy explains: deportations, shootings of the Roma, Jews loaded onto a freight train…
Beyond the important information that the interview brings us, the uninhibited racism of the witness confirms that, if this was necssary , that our work cannot be conceived as a simple documentation of facts, it is also a way of bringing to light the mecanisms at the origin of these mass crimes, and a way of forging tools in order to prevent them.
I want to thank the remarkable team with whom I had the opportunity to share the research trip during these few days in Romania. Thank you Valy, Paris, Anderson, Curtis, Maradona (without whom it would be impossible for Yahad to investigate the history of the Gypsies), thank you Katya, Victoria and Omar. And on behalf of us all , thank you Patrick .