3D projections help keep holocaust survivors’ stories aliveBy The National Holocaust Centre and Museum
When Janine Weber was nine, she was forced to live in a hole in the ground, existing on bread and raw onions. She was lucky to survive – her parents and her brother had already been killed.
Weber is a holocaust survivor. Children today are taught about the Holocaust, and how the Nazi regime caused the death of six million Jews. However, it’s hard to connect to a number so big, and stories like Weber’s have a more profound impact on children and young people.
Unfortunately, Holocaust survivors will not be around for much longer. Weber is 84, which makes her relatively young among those who are still able to tell others about their experiences. And while a lot of survivors’ testimony has been captured on film, it’s not the same as hearing the stories first hand and being able to ask questions.
“Children ask fearless questions that adults often shy away from. For example, do you ever wish you weren’t born Jewish? That important interaction is in danger of being lost,” says Sarah Coward of the National Holocaust Centre and Museum in Nottinghamshire, where nearly half a million children have had a live audience session with eyewitnesses.
Coward has been working with new digital technology that allows audiences to listen to life-size 3D projections of survivors and ask them questions, which prompt pre-recorded answers, based on survivors’ responses to thousands of similar questions over the last 20 years. Ten survivors who volunteer at the centre were filmed – each person taking five days in 40-minute sections.
20,000 schoolchildren pass through the centre each year, and most take part in a question and answer session with a group of 40 volunteer survivors – the technology will allow them to do so even when the survivors pass away. The project is seeking donations to film 10 more testimonies. You can help at www.foreverproject.co.uk
Image courtesy of The Forever Project
Last updated: 04th of October, 2016