Next­gen technology greatest hope for Holocaust commemoration?

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The Israeli i24 news  reports on SPECS’s science-based technology used to developed a tablet app with the 3D reconstruction of the Bergen Belsen concentration camp.

We are facing a memory crisis,” warns Prof. Paul Verschure, co­founder of the Future Memory Foundation, which tackles this problem. “Not only that the living memory is disappearing, we are also seeing how limited is the commemoration process we have built over the last 70 years. The goal was to help us learn from our past and to better our society, but it’s clearly not working.”

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Here Space of Memory: Blog by Paul Verschure

1389.2 Holocaust B“Wir wissen nur dass wenn wir hier rauskommen, das wir alles dass wir hier erlebt haben in die Welt hinaus schreien müssen, anders kann man nicht leben”

“We only know that when we get out of here, we must shout out into the world about everything that we have experienced here. Otherwise one cannot live.”

These are the words of Charlotte Grunow recorded on April 20, 1945 by BBC reporter Patrick Gordon Walker.

photo: Soon after liberation, camp survivors await their ration of potato soup. Bergen-Belsen, Germany, April 28, 1945. US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Read more at Here Space of Memory: Conserving, Presenting and Elaborating the Memory of the Holocaust and Nazi crimes

Blog by Paul Verschure, published by the European Commission blog, DAE

Der Tages Spiegel

The British Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visit the former Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

During her visit to the Bergen Belsen Memorial, she listened while Prof. Paul Verschure (SPECS-lab, ICREA, Barcelona) demonstrated an app that shows what the concentration camp once looked like.

Queen Elisabeth

see more at Der Tages Spiegel


Dutch TV reports on 3D reconstruction of Bergen Belsen


The Dutch National television, Nieuwsuur, has reported today on the virtual/augmented reality app and 3D reconstruction of the Bergen Belsen concentration camp developed by SPECS at UPF ( in collaboration with the Bergen Belsen memorial centre ( and the historian Habbo Knoch. The same program also reported on a mass grave that was discovered at the site of the concentration camp, as a result of this collaboration, now 70 years after its liberation April 15, 1945 by the British army.

TV news and videos
Part 1 Virtual recontruction of the Bergen Belsen camp
Part 2 New mass grave found at Bergen Belsen

Exhibit of 3D Reconstruction of Bergen Belsen at the Wiener Library in London

The Future Memory foundation in collaboration with the research group SPECS,  the Wiener Library, and the Bergen-Belsen Memorial centre, is presenting a unique installation 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.

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 cultural heritage education.

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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 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.

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 installation was linked with a mobile tablet based application. This setup allowed 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: [email protected]