Institute News

New Dimensions in Testimony Now Installed at Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City

Visitors to the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City can now interact with the testimonies of Holocaust survivors Pinchas Gutter and Eva Schloss through USC Shoah Foundation’s New Dimensions in Testimony (NDT) pilot installation. It will be at the museum now through December 22, 2017.

Gutter himself will speak at the installation’s official opening event on September 12 at 7 p.m. Register for this free event here.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage’s pilot NDT installation marks the world premiere of the NDT testimony of Eva Schloss, a survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau and the posthumous stepsister of Anne Frank (after the war, her mother married Anne’s father, Otto, and Anne was a childhood acquaintance of Eva’s). It is also the New York premiere of Gutter’s testimony.

Envisioned by Heather Maio and produced by USC Shoah Foundation, New Dimensions in Testimony uses groundbreaking natural language software that allows audiences to interact with the recorded image of a Holocaust survivor, who responds to questions in real time, powered by complex algorithms providing realistic conversation.

To experience NDT, museum visitors can typically participate in moderated sessions with a docent and also have the opportunity to ask their own questions directly.

NDT has already been piloted at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, CANDLES Museum in Indiana, Holocaust Museum Houston and Neuberger Holocaust Centre in Toronto. It has also been featured at festivals including the Future of Storytelling Festival and Sheffield Doc/Fest.

To date, over a dozen survivors have filmed interviews for New Dimensions in Testimony, including one survivor of the Nanjing Massacre.

New Dimensions in Testimony is an initiative by USC Shoah Foundation to record and display testimony in a way that will preserve the dialogue between Holocaust survivors and learners far into the future. Collaborating within the project are Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, with technology by USC Institute for Creative Technologies, and concept by Conscience Display. Funding for NDT was provided in part by Pears Foundation, Louis. F. Smith and Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.