Archives for posts with tag: Holocaust

A sweet find from the ‘Holocaust’ Google Alert.

Stories of Holocaust survivors retold by holograms,’ by Deseret News.

hologram

Straight from The University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts:

For the past 18 months, a group led by USC’s Shoah Foundation has been […] creating three-dimensional holograms of nearly a dozen people who survived Nazi Germany’s systematic extermination of 6 million Jews during World War II.

USC hopes to export its survivor holograms to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in D.C, within the next five years.

The coolest part of this: the holograms will be more than pre-recorded talking points. They will be interactive, and capable of answering real-time questions.

[Holocaust survivor Pinchus] Gutter had to sit under an array of hot stage lights and in front of a green screen for hours at a time over the course of five days, answering some 500 questions about himself and his experiences.

Research scientists at USC are still editing them and working with voice-recognition software so that his hologram will not only be able to tell his story but recognize questions and answer them succinctly. Being able to do that often required asking as many as 50 follow-up questions to one of the original ones, Smith said.

While researchers have found there is generally a range of about 100 questions people ask survivors of the Holocaust, if someone in the future comes up with one Gutter’s hologram can’t answer, it will simply say so and refer them to someone who might know.

Of course, this technology has been put to use elsewhere:

More than 15 years after his death, rapper Tupac Shakur made a 3-D hologram-like appearance at last year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, performing alongside a real Snoop Dogg.

Here’s some news from the Orange County register: Eva Schloss, Anne Frank’s stepsister, is in California on a speaking tour. She will speak about her stepsister* at 10 local synagogues.

eva_schloss_pa

[*Schloss’s mother married Otto Frank after the war’s end, and after Anne Frank’s own slow death at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The stepsister title is a wee bit specious, but hey…]

The Diary of a Young Girl (or, The Diary of Anne Frank) (originally, Het Achterhuis. Dagboekbrieven 14 juni 1942 – 1 augustus 1944) certainly holds a firm place in the 20th century’s literary canon.

anne-frank

The Diary was indeed the diary of a young Jewish teenager, Anne Frank. Published in 1947, it chronicles two years (1942-44) that Anne and her family spent hiding from Nazi forces–in a wee attic, above her father’s office in Amsterdam. Betrayed in 1944, the Franks were deported to concentration camps. Anne died of typhus in 1945, a month before British forces liberated Bergen-Belsen.

Why is this book so enduring?

Part of it is certainly the writing itself: detailed, lively and wholly personal. Anne is a also uniquely-placed narrator. She reported from Third Reich territory during the height of the Holocaust (early 1940s). Her old peers were either in concentration camps, unable to narrate events, or long gone–to London, or New York, or Shanghai. And the story has all the classic narrative elements: a perpetrator, a pursuit, young adolescent love, a stab in the back.

Timing would have been part of this too. Published in 1947, the diary anticipates, by at least a decade, the flood of (popular, retrospectively-written) Holocaust memoirs that we’re still swimming in.

This explains why Eva Schloss–who didn’t know Anne personally–can peg a writing/speaking career on her loose connection to her famous “stepsister.”

Schloss’ path reminds me a bit of certain members of the Churchill clan–who make the rounds, everywhere and constantly, recounting tales of (great) grandad Winston.