By Judith Sudilovsky
Catholic News Service

JERUSALEM (CNS) — Perhaps in retrospect it was inevitable that Father Patrick Desbois dedicate a part of his life to seeking out the last witnesses to the Nazis’ mass executions of Jews in remote Ukrainian villages.

As a young child he alone among all his family was privy to his paternal grandfather’s stories about his imprisonment as a French soldier in Ukraine’s Rava-Ruska Nazi prison camp.

It was bad for the soldiers, his grandfather said, but it was worse for “the others on the outside.”

“Since I was a child I wanted to know who those ‘others’ were,” said Father Desbois, 52, a member of the French Prado Fathers who was in Israel in mid-October leading a French pilgrimage group.