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  • Writer's pictureWendell Maxey

Inside The Concentration Camps: Virtual Tours Help Enhance Holocaust Education

This is the kind of historical experience that brings you up close and personal, while also aiming to preserve the memories of the Holocaust through virtual reality tours.

That’s what is happening now thanks to new Israeli technology – Apps Flyer – that enables people to take a virtual tour of the concentration camps at Beit Ha'edut i.e.The Testimony House, a museum in Moshav Nir Galim near Ashdod, it was reported.

This past June in Poland, the project was introduced and presented at a conference titled “The Tools of Here and Now in Teaching about Then: New Technologies in Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust”, with several major international Holocaust museums presenting new developments to further Holocaust education experiences.

Beit Ha'edut was chosen as one of the few Holocaust museums in the world, and the only one from Israel, to present new technology at the conference. The technology also gives museum visitors a haunting, in-depth tour inside Auschwitz-Birkenau. The tour takes place using virtual reality (VR) glasses and shows the participant visually and tangibly how the Nazis worked in the camp, along with exposure to various places in Auschwitz and photographs that have never been seen before.

While nothing can supplant the personal experience of the Memorial’s authenticity at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the global pandemic from 2020 triggered the search for new ways to reach schools and communities that temporarily could not visit the Museum.

The Israeli company, AppsFlyer, is creating innovative tools to give millions of people the opportunity to visit the Memorial with an educator via the Internet. The Israeli company Diskin is responsible for the creative component of the project.

The Polish company Real Invented Studio is also the author of a detailed reconstruction of the Birkenau campsite in digital 3D technology, working closely with Museum historians and educators. The resulting tool will provide visitors with the opportunity to experience the May-June 1944 camp space both on-screen and using VR goggles.

This area of the Museum’s development activities has been made possible with the support of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, which - in addition to building a fund to preserve the authenticity of the Memorial - has begun to raise additional funds for education.

The development of projects in the online space would not have been possible without the all new broadband internet access throughout the Memorial. Thanks to Orange Polska technological support, the Museum will gain a modern 4G/5G infrastructure and enhanced fiber optic and wireless connectivity.

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