UK National Holocaust Centre and Museum to Premiere Digital Survivor Testimonies
The National Holocaust Centre and Museum will premiere digital survivor testimonies over the next ten months in order to help combat hate crime and anti-Semitism in the UK. The completion of the Forever Project realises its ambition to become the UK’s leading Holocaust centre for survivor testimony.
The award-winning project uses interactive 3D recordings of Holocaust survivors to allow future generations to ‘meet’ survivors and ask them questions about their experiences. Often harrowing, and always moving, these interactive testimonies provide future generations with an opportunity to learn from this terrible period in history, and to consider the dangers of prejudice and hate.
The Centre has collated thousands of questions typically asked by schoolchildren and put them to survivors, so that – using cutting-edge technology – future generations will be able to have “conversations” with digital recordings of survivors when they are no longer with us. Through The Forever Project, children can ask survivors questions for years into the future, with software matching the question with the closest recorded answer.
The project has completed the 3D recordings of 10 testimonies of Holocaust survivors in this special format and will premiere the recordings over the next ten months, thanks to the generous support of Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG). Nearly half a million children have had an audience with the eyewitnesses to history at the National Holocaust Centre and Museum over the last 20 years.
GPG co-founder Mikhail Fridman tells eJP: “This project has huge significance to me personally. I was born into a Jewish family in Lvov after WWII. And I knew many people including my grandmother and father who had survival stories to tell. The Jewish community in Lvov and elsewhere suffered terribly during the war but unlike in Poland, where the history of Auschwitz, and the other death camps, are well known, what happened in the Ukraine and elsewhere in Soviet Territories occupied by the Germans is less known and documented.”
In addition to this new support from the Genesis Philanthropy Group, The Forever Project has received generous support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as Pears Foundation, R&D Digital Fund for the Arts, Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust, and the Association of Jewish Refugees, amongst others.