Virtual Reality Experience
with contemporary witness Eva Umlauf, a survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
A new media format that brings the memories of a holocaust survivor to life with virtual reality is being unveiled today by LMU researchers and their cooperation partners in Berlin. At the event, Professor Anja Ballis, Chair of German Language and Literature Education at LMU, and Privatdozent Dr. Oliver Schreer from the Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications, Heinrich-Hertz-Institut, HHI, are presenting the results of their two-year collaboration. The project documented the experiences of Dr. Eva Umlauf, one of the youngest survivors of the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, and employed modern technologies to render them vivid and immediate in a virtual reality experience.
The use of virtual/extended reality and the technique of volumetric capture opened up new possibilities for engaging with the past. An example was the subsequent animation of the volumetrically depicted figure, whereby the time witness seems to be always looking at the user and establishing eye contact, as her head turns toward the user in real time.
The project also investigated how holocaust testimonies can be made accessible to future generations, increasing their historical awareness. This new form of presentation is suitable for use at memorials and museums or in history classes at institutes of higher education.