360º Testimony at Historical Sites

The program captures and processes 360-degree testimonies on location with survivors at places critical to their stories. Recording survivors on location sparks particular memories and provides a visceral experience for viewers, who are able to make meaning from the survivors’ stories, faces and gestures, as well as their surroundings. Built-in distribution will include international outreach as well as integration into the Institute’s educational IWalks app.

With 360-degree video and other immersive experiences becoming a cultural currency of our time, and with Holocaust survivors’ time running short, the Institute has pioneered a methodology to record 360-degree video testimony on location to forever preserve their memories attached to places of significance.

360-degree testimonies on location use the latest technology with a single camera that is able to capture the interviewee and the surrounding location in a single shot. This allows viewers to feel like they are standing in the location with the survivor. The locations might include a childhood home, a ghetto, a concentration camp, inside a museum or other places of key significance to a survivor’s personal history.

By capturing the full scene, the viewer is able to explore the environment as well as the survivor to make meaning of the witness’ story. Recording may also include photogrammetry—a method to capture thousands of high-resolution still photographs of each location—to enable digital reconstruction of that space within a virtual world. These processes are valuable for virtual reality and augmented reality assets, with potential for wide application in future education programming, including the Institute’s IWalks. The digitally captured content will enable the production of immersive experiences, allowing viewers in the future to connect with survivors in a uniquely tangible way.

Legacy: Max and Ed
Recording Testimony on Location

Holocaust survivor Max Eisen recently returned to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland for the 21st time since his liberation in 1945. But this was his first visit with his son, Ed.

Eisen is one of four Holocaust survivors who is providing testimony filmed with 360-degree video technology for USC Shoah Foundation in association with International March of the Living.

Capturing History through Partnerships

"These testimonies promise to become cornerstones of future March of the Living trips, when survivors can no longer personally accompany the students,  ensuring that the survivors' memories will continue to guide generations to come,” noted Dr. Shmuel Rosenman, International March of the Living Chairman.

Eli Rubenstein, Director of Education for International March of the Living, added that by using emerging technologies, the project is transforming the way the stories and lessons of the Holocaust are learned by people around the globe.

Learn more about International March of the Living

Support our Effort

For more information about how you can support our effort to record the testimonies of survivors in historical sites, please contact Andrea Waldron at waldrona@usc.edu.