Tech­nol­ogy will keep voices of Holo­caust sur­vivors alive

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - NATION - By Jamie Sten­gle

DAL­LAS — Max Glauben was 17 and had al­ready lost his mother, fa­ther and brother at the hands of the Nazis when U.S. troops res­cued him while he was on a death march from one Ger­man camp to an­other.

The rec­ol­lec­tions of the Dal­las res­i­dent who sur­vived the War­saw Ghetto and con­cen­tra­tion camps are be­ing pre­served in a way that will al­low gen­er­a­tions to come to ask his im­age ques­tions.

Glauben, who will turn 91 on Mon­day, is the lat­est Holo­caust sur­vivor recorded in such a way by the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia Shoah Foun­da­tion. The Los An­ge­les-based foun­da­tion has recorded 18 in­ter­ac­tive tes­ti­monies with Holo­caust sur­vivors over the last sev­eral years, and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Stephen Smith said work­ers in a “race against time” as they try to add more, seek­ing a di­ver­sity of ex­pe­ri­ences and tes­ti­monies in a va­ri­ety of lan­guages.

“I thought that my knowl­edge could cure the ha­tred and the big­otry and the killings in this world if some­body can lis­ten to my story, my tes­ti­mony, and be ed­u­cated even after I’m gone,” Glauben said.

Smith says that while the foun­da­tion cre­ated in 1994 by film di­rec­tor Steven Spiel­berg has about 55,000 au­dio­vi­sual tes­ti­monies about geno­cides in dozens of lan­guages — the ma­jor­ity from the Holo­caust — the in­ter­ac­tive tech­nol­ogy stands out for al­low­ing mu­se­um­go­ers to have a di­a­logue with sur­vivors.

“It’s your ques­tions that are be­ing an­swered,” Smith said, adding that the replies, es­pe­cially on weighty is­sues like for­give­ness, can be es­pe­cially poignant. “You ac­tu­ally see some­times them strug­gling to know what to an­swer.”

So far, the foun­da­tion has Holo­caust sur­vivors speak­ing in English, He­brew and Span­ish, and the group hopes to get people speak­ing in even more lan­guages.

“It’s so pow­er­ful when it’s in your mother tongue and you’re look­ing the per­son in the eye and you are hear­ing nu­anced lan­guage com­ing back that’s your own lan­guage,” Smith said.

David J. Phillip The As­so­ci­ated Press

A Di­men­sions in Tes­ti­mony ex­hibit at the Holo­caust Mu­seum Hous­ton lets guests have a vir­tual con­ver­sa­tion with Holo­caust sur­vivor Wil­liam Morgan.

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