Holocaust Survivors to Live On ... as Holograms

3D likenesses will be able to answer questions

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 5, 2013 11:23 AM CST

(Newser) – Holocaust survivors' estimated average age is 79, but researchers and activists are making sure they'll be telling their stories two decades from now, and beyond—in person. Well, almost. The University of Southern California's Shoah Foundation is working with the school's Institute for Creative Technologies (whose resumé includes winning an Oscar and working on Avatar) to create some pretty amazing holograms of survivors: ones that are projected into space, not onto a screen, and that are able to answer questions.

The USC teams have spent 18 months developing 3D holograms of almost a dozen people, the AP reports, and one, of Pinchus Gutter, could be ready for visitors to the Holocaust Museum in Washington as soon as next year. The 80-year-old spent five days being filmed about his experience—he saw his parents and 10-year-old twin sister being led to the gas chambers—and answering questions in front of a green screen. Those answers will be edited and paired with voice-recognition software that will allow his hologram to both tell his story and recognize and answer questions. Being able to do that often required asking as many as 50 follow-up questions to one of the original ones, the AP notes. Click for more on the fascinating project.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel lights a candle as he tours the Hall of Remembrance at the Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel lights a candle as he tours the Hall of Remembrance at the Holocaust Memorial Museum.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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