IWalk is an interactive educational program that connects concrete physical locations with memories of Holocaust-related events that took place on these locations in several European cities.
People walking through the tours use tablet computers to watch clips of Holocaust survivors and witnesses telling personal stories about how the locations factored into their experiences. The clips are drawn from their testimonies in USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive.
The testimonies, along with the photos, documents, maps and other primary sources displayed in the tablet presentations, tell a story that connects past events to present locations in a way that underscores the gravity and reality of what occurred.
For instance, in Vinohrady, a district of Prague in the Czech Republic, an IWalk is made up of eight stops, including a synagogue, Jewish orphanage, hospital, and flats that were occupied by Jewish families. Each stop includes testimony clips, photographs and biographical information about the survivors featured in the testimony.
One of the stops is Radiotrh, or “Radio Mart,” a former exhibition hall in Prague that was used as a collection center for Jews before they were deported to camps and ghettos.
The IWalk includes three testimony clip reels about survivors’ experiences being deported from Radiotrh, including the deportation of children from “mixed” families.
The IWalk in Brno – also located in the Czech Republic – highlights two specific sites: a Jewish grammar school and the deportation center.
After the German occupation of Czechoslovakia began in 1939, the school was the last in Brno that was allowed to teach Jewish students. But in 1941, it, too, closed its doors. The IWalk here features testimonies of seven former students, who went on to survive Terezin, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Bergen-Belsen, and other camps and ghettos.
IWalk is a collaboration with the Czech NGO OpenEye. The Czech series of IWalks, including the ones in Vinohrady and Brno as well as another in Mlada Boleslav, was established with the financial support of the Foundation for Holocaust Victims.
IWalks have also been created in Budapest, Hungary, and Warsaw, Poland.