Holocaust Survivors Are Ensuring We Never Forget With the Help of New Tech
With most Holocaust survivors now in their 80s and 90s, creators are using social media, AI, and virtual reality to preserve their accounts
Today’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day, but with each passing year, “remembering” becomes a little more challenging. With most Holocaust survivors now in their 80s and 90s, there will soon be no one left to provide firsthand accounts of the horrors experienced during World War II. To ensure the world never forgets, there are several new efforts underway using latest technology — like social media, AI, and virtual reality — to preserve survivors’ accounts.
Tova Friedman is among the youngest people to have survived the Holocaust, living through the miseries of the Auschwitz concentration camp at just 6 years old. Her grandson, Aron Goodman, is now using TikTok to tell her story and educate the younger generation.
Aron set up an account in Tova’s name, which has gone viral with millions of views. “We need to show the younger generations, who can then teach it to their younger generations, and their children, and pass it down for as long as we can,” Goodman told NowThis.
In Israel, an art exhibit recently showcased AI-generated artwork that brought Holocaust survivors’ memories to life. Through the verbal retelling of specific moments, an AI software operator was able to create visuals to match the emotions and scenery remembered by the survivors.
The exhibit featured images of 19 Israeli Holocaust survivors. One of them, Dov Sagaju, 86, said the experience was tremendous. “I felt shivers,” he said. “I couldn't grasp that it was me. It was hard for me to process this picture.”
Virtual reality (VR) is also being used to give people a unique perspective of the realities of the Holocaust. With the film “Triumph of the Spirit,” viewers find themselves inside Auschwitz, a Nazi death camp. Rather than traveling to Poland, people can just put on a headset.
“You can’t explain it; it’s too complicated to explain,” said David Bitton, a 16-year-old student, after seeing the film. “But you need to watch it. And when you watch it, it’s like a nightmare that you don’t want to be in.”
Innovators are working with new technology around the world as a force for good to keep the memories of Holocaust survivors alive — not only on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, but every day.