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Virtual ‘interview’ exhibit coming to Florida Holocaust Museum

Bill DeYoung

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For "Dimensions of Testimony," survivors were video-recorded against a green screen. The immersive and interactive "interview experience" opens Oct. 10 at the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg. Photo: USC Shoah Foundation.

The past and the future come together with a new exhibit arriving at the Florida Holocaust Museum in October.

Dimensions in Testimony, developed by the USC Shoah Foundation, uses artificial-intelligence technology to facilitate “virtual conversations” with Holocaust survivors. It will launch Oct. 10 at the St. Petersburg facility, one of just a handful of Holocaust museums around the country to exhibit the new technology.

Dimensions in Testimony enables people to ask direct questions to Holocaust survivors and other witnesses to genocide, and receive responses from prerecorded video images.

“I think Dimensions in Testimony completely revolutionizes Holocaust education,” interim executive director Erin Blankenship said. “Because it allows us to speak to survivors long after they’re no longer with is.”

Pinchas Gutter

The first survivor to be featured in St. Pete, Pinchas Gutter, is a resident of Toronto, Canada. Gutter is a survivor of six German Nazi concentration camps. He was born in Łódź, Poland, and was 8 years old when the war started.

In addition, the Florida Holocaust Museum will begin beta-testing the interactive biographies of four local Florida Survivors: Mary Wygodski, E. Edward Herman, Helen Kahan and Betty Grebenschikoff.

Meanwhile, the search continues for the museum’s next executive director, replacing Elizabeth Gelman, who resigned in July.

Florida Holocaust Museum website.

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