Virtual reality brings Holocaust history to future generations

Virtual reality brings Holocaust history to future generations

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“You see people’s shoes, you see … all their belongings,” said 16-year-old Jewish seminary student David Bittan after watching the film in Jerusalem. “When you see it, it’s like a nightmare you don’t want to be in.”

A report by the World Zionist Organization ahead of Friday’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day describes a rise in global anti-Semitism following the COVID-19 pandemic as activity on social networks has created a “new reality”.

Indeed, nearly a quarter of Dutch people born after 1980 believe the Holocaust was a myth or that its victims were grossly exaggerated, according to a campaign this week to secure material compensation for survivors. A survey published by an organization working for

The three filmmakers behind the project hope that technologies like VR will have a positive impact. They are offering the experience to groups who can book screenings and individual users who can watch the film at a mall in Jerusalem.

“The fact that … young people are into this technology, it helps us get their attention and then when they put these headsets on, that’s it,” said co-creator Miriam Cohen.

Visitors get a guided tour of Jewish life in Poland before the Holocaust, tour a Nazi extermination camp and then tour Israel while hearing stories from survivors.

For 95-year-old Menachem Habermann, who was sent to Auschwitz on a cattle train in 1944, the sinking experience was overwhelming. He cried as soon as he removed the VR glasses.

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