Steven Frank in Studio 2

Cutting-edge technology was this week being used to film Holocaust survivors telling their stories in a way that could one day let future generations see them in the form of a 3D hologram.

Holocaust groups say ultra high definition stereoscopic film allows the camera to capture facial features in fine detail using a special scanning technique, which would then be used to visualise the survivors in 3D.”

“With a large enough space, it could be projected using technology which gives the strong impression of presence,” said Sarah Coward from the Centre, which is located near Newark. “It’s gaining a lot of interest.”

The project, which has lottery funding and is supported by the Pears Foundation, will let future visitors to the National Holocaust Centre (NHC) enjoy an “interactive” experience with survivors “to preserve their voice for generations to come”.

The Nottinghamshire institute is working with the Shoah Foundation in the United States in the unique collaboration, sharing technology which is not yet commercially available. “In essence we will be able to ‘share’ survivors filmed in the US and in the UK as the systems will be compatible,” says Coward.

With the number of survivors now down to 3,000, there is a race against time. “As people pass away, much of this powerful testimony is lost and our ability to grasp what happened is weakened,” says Vanessa Harbar of the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

Andrew Kaufman, chairman of the Association of Jewish Refugees, another benefactor, added: “These enhanced testimonies will provide future generations with a first class resource to study one of the most important episodes in recent history.”

The project has also attracted interest from the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission, with chairman Mick Davis and the Chief Rabbi lending support. 

Filming began this week, with the first survivor to be filmed – Steven Frank – recalling his experiences in Holland, Westerbork and Theresein. 

“A key part, if not the most important part of a visit to the Centre is to listen and talk to a survivor,” said NHC chief executive Phil Lyons. “With this project, that will never change.”