Funds from a Ukrainian Jewish billionaire has paved the way for the National Holocaust Centre in Nottinghamshire to roll out its innovative project showing Holocaust survivors answering questions as 3D holograms.
Phil Lyons, manager of the Newark-based Centre, said funding from Mikhail Fridman, an oil magnate worth more than $14billion, will “allow us to share all of the testimonies recorded” for the Forever Project. That project has involved thousands of questions typically asked by schoolchildren being put to survivors, whose answers are filmed. Clever software then matches any question from the audience to the nearest pre-recorded question put to survivors and – in real time – shows their answer. The project’s creators say this allows future generations will be able to have “conversations” with survivors.
The financial injection from Fridman’s Genesis Philanthropy Group will allow 10 3D digital survivor testimonies to premier over the next 10 months, the announcement coming in National Hate Crime Awareness Week.
Fridman was born to a Jewish family in Lviv, in western Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union, and said the Forever Project – which his money will help complete – had “special significance” for him.
“I knew many people including my grandmother and father who had survival stories to tell,” he said.