The Wiener Library

For the Study of the Holocaust & Genocide

Memory in a Digital Age: a virtual reconstruction of Bergen-Belsen

The Wiener Library in cooperation with Bergen-Belsen Memorial and the SPECS research group, are offering a unique installation for display to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. This installation is a 3D reconstruction of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp as it stood on 15 April 1945, when it was liberated by the British Army.

Visitors will be given the opportunity to learn about the camp through exploring a virtual environment: viewing areas within the camp's reconstruction, and learning about the camp’s history through digitised documents and photographs.

The camp reconstruction results from collaboration between the research group SPECS and the Bergen-Belsen Memorial Centre. Contributors to the wider project based at the Belsen Memorial, entitled 'Here: Space of Memory' have included historians, scientists and technicians from multiple disciplines as well as survivors of the camp.

Project Background

We are facing the end of the “age of the witness” in Holocaust education. Existing memorial sites or museums continue to offer a sound traditional historiographical approach. What is missing however is the integration of pertinent historical sources (e.g. images, maps, construction plans) and personal descriptions (e.g. from testimonies and diaries) with the physical sites where the Holocaust took place.

This exhibition shows how the use of virtual and augmented reality techniques can help to maintain and anchor historical facts to collective memory and enhance education.

The 3D reconstruction of the Bergen Belsen concentration camp is based on the best current knowledge of how the camp stood after the liberation in 1945. This reconstruction was initially developed as part of the installation “Here, Space of Memory” a collaborative effort between the research group SPECS and the memorial centre at Bergen-Belsen. 

At the Bergen-Belsen Memorial site a three-dimensional, virtual model of the former camp that was fully destroyed after its liberation, has been constructed and presented within a three-wall-projection space. This immersive interactive presentation has been linked with a mobile tablet based application. This allows visitors to physically visit the former campsite and perceive and experience the historical spatial structures and details of fences, buildings and camp sections as part of the landscape.  For more information click here.

Contact: info@futurememoryfoundation.org

Please Note: The 'Humanity after the Holocaust' exhibition will be closed due to an event on the evening of Tuesday 19 June from 5pm-7.30pm. For details of the event see our What's On page. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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