NEW YORK (AP) What was it like in a Nazi concentration camp? How did you survive? How has it affected your life since?
Technology is allowing people to ask these questions and many more in virtual interviews with actual Holocaust survivors, preparing for a day when the estimated 100,000 Jews remaining from camps, ghettos or hiding under Nazi occupation are no longer alive to give the accounts themselves.
An exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City called “New Dimensions in Testimony” uses hours of recorded high-definition video and language-recognition technology to create just that kind of “interview” with Eva Schloss, Anne Frank’s stepsister, and fellow survivor Pinchas Gutter.
“What we’ve found is that it personalizes that history,” says concept designer Heather Smith. “You connect with that history in a different way than you would just seeing a movie or reading a textbook or hearing a lecture.”
The project is a collaboration between the Steven Spielberg-founded Shoah Foundation, which has recorded nearly 52,000 interviews with Nazi-era survivors, and the Institute for Creative Technologies, both at the University of Southern California. First conceived in 2009, such exhibits have been put on in different forms at other museums, using technology to pull up relevant responses to questions about life before, during and after Adolf Hitler’s murderous Third Reich.
Like Anne Frank, Schloss and her family went into hiding in Amsterdam but were betrayed and sent to Auschwitz. She was eventually liberated by the Russian Army in 1945. The 88-year-old Schloss, whose mother married…
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