Holograms to preserve Holocaust survivors’ legacies

Today, the average age of a Holocaust survivor is 79. A new archiving project helps them preserve their stories

Topics: Holocaust, digital storytelling, holograms, technology, , ,

Holograms to preserve Holocaust survivors' legacies (Credit: USC)
This story has been corrected since it was originally published.

A research team at the University of Southern California is working to create holograms of elderly Holocaust survivors that could be used by museums as part of an interactive, oral history exhibit. Once developed, these holograms could be projected into the air so that museum visitors can approach them and ask them questions, according to the Associated Press.

Each hologram will be accompanied by a voice-recognition program, that will “hear” what museum-goers ask and provide answers.

Pinchas Gutter, who was incarcerated in a Warsaw ghetto for more than three years before being moved to the labor camps, including Buchenwald, was one of the first Holocaust survivors to participate in the digital archiving program. To create his hologram, Gutter answered nearly 500 questions from researchers over a five day period. To ensure high-fidelity playback, he was filmed with 3-D cameras from every possible angle on a light stage. The lights are hot, the work taxing, but many aging survivors are willing to withstand the discomfort to provide their testimony. Or as Gutter’s digital likeness told the audience during a recent demonstration, “I tell my story for the purpose of improving humanity.”



The project, called New Dimensions in Testimony, is a new approach to oral history and digital storytelling, one researchers hope will allow future generations relate personally to the horrors of the Holocaust, even after the last of the survivors has passed on. According to a release from researchers at the university:

The goal is to develop interactive 3-D exhibits in which learners can have simulated, educational conversations with survivors though the fourth dimension of time. Years from now, long after the last survivor has passed on, the New Dimensions in Testimony project can provide a path to enable young people to listen to a survivor and ask their own questions directly, encouraging them, each in their own way, to reflect on the deep and meaningful consequences of the Holocaust.

 

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.

    Domino's

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.

    Arby's/Facebook

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.

    KFC

    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    Pizzagamechangers.com

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.

    7-Eleven

    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>