Jerusalem Jan 27 (Reuters) – For those who survived the Holocaust, the memories may never be erased, but their generations are dying. Educators and historians are looking for new ways to keep their experience alive and connect with young people.
The film “Triumph of the Spirit” is seen through a virtual reality headset, and viewers find themselves inside the Auschwitz Nazi death camp.
During World War II, more than 1.1 million people died at Auschwitz, a network of camps on occupied Polish soil by Nazi Germany, about 90% of whom were Jews.
It is open to visitors as a monument and museum. Using virtual reality, viewers can see the same things without traveling.
“You see people’s shoes,” said 16-year-old Jewish student David Bitton after watching the film in Jerusalem. I see all their stuff,” he said. “When you look at it, it’s like a nightmare you don’t want to have.”
A report by the World Zionist Organization ahead of Friday’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day describes a rise in global antisemitism following the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic as a movement channeling social media.
Indeed, Almost a quarter of Dutch people born after 1980 believe that the Holocaust is a myth or that the number of its victims is greatly exaggerated; A survey released this week by an organization working to secure material compensation for survivors shows that.
The three filmmakers behind the project hope that technologies like VR will have a positive impact. They are offering an experience where groups can book movie screenings in advance, and individual users can watch movies at the mall in Jerusalem.
“Young people are getting used to this technology, so it grabs their attention and that’s it when they put these headphones on,” says co-creator Miriam Cohen.
A guided tour of Jewish life in Poland before the Holocaust; Tour Israel, visiting a Nazi extermination camp and hearing the stories of survivors.
For 95-year-old Menachem Haberman, who was transported to Auschwitz in 1944 by ox train; The immersive experience is huge. I took off my VR glasses and cried.
His mother and six siblings died in the camp’s gas chambers. He escaped and was sent to another concentration camp that was liberated in 1945. He later moved to Israel.
He remembers an area where prisoners were subjected to medical experiments and a wall in front where people were shot.
“It feels like going back to those days from the beginning,” he said. “I saw all of this and remembered some things that I can’t forget to this day.”
Reporting by Emily Rose; Edited by Alison Williams.
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