The National Holocaust Centre and Museum launched its Forever Project to MPs at the House of Commons. The Forever Project uses life-sized, 3D interactive technology to enable people to not only to hear and see Holocaust survivors, but to ask them questions and get answers.
MPs and guests at the event had the chance to interact with Holocaust survivors through the 3D digital technology.
The aim of Forever is to preserve the voice of Holocaust survivors for generations to come. To create the database of responses, the Centre filmed 10 Holocaust survivors over several days, each answering more than 1,000 questions posed by academics and the general public.
Steven Frank, a Holocaust survivor who was filmed for the project, said: “It’s always been a bone of contention. What’s going to happen when we survivors are all dead? We’ve heard people say, ‘Ah, well, we’ll get their children to tell their stories.’ But it isn’t the same. It has to come from the heart of the person who is telling the story.”
A recent survey in the US reported that that 22% of millennials had not, or were not sure they had, heard of the Holocaust and 66% did not know what Auschwitz was.”
Speaking at the event, Genesis Philanthropy Group co-founder Mikhail Fridman said: “Despite the passage of time, testimonies from the survivors of the Holocaust have lost none of their heartbreaking power. It is now more than 70 years since the end of this shameful episode in human history, and first-hand accounts, which so effectively warn of the terrible consequences of hatred, will one day pass into history. The National Holocaust Centre and Museum has achieved something remarkable through this project, using technology to keep the memory of these events alive from one generation to the next. This is why this initiative is so important and why we are so pleased that Genesis Philanthropy Group has helped bring it to fruition”.
The event in the Houses of Parliament was hosted by The Rt Hon the Lord Pickles, the UK Government’s Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues and Co-Chair of the UK Heritage Memorial Foundation. Lord Pickles said: “The Forever Project guarantees that we will continue to benefit from vital dialogue with Holocaust survivors, creating a closeness that allows people to learn the lessons of history from a personal perspective.
“The National Holocaust Centre and Museum is at the vanguard of ensuring that the lessons of the past are heard by young diverse audiences and those vulnerable to extremist messages. They are also at the forefront of working collaboratively with others to amplify the lessons of the past and ensuring that the UK remains a country committed to delivering world class Holocaust education”