Digital Media and Holocaust Museums in a Post-Survivor Era

Julia Zungri

Abstract


Holocaust survivors are an integral part to Holocaust and genocide commemoration in museums. Seventy-two years after the end of World War II, however, many remaining survivors are either experiencing mobility issues or have passed away. Institutions are now faced with functioning in a post-survivor era, prompting a re-evaluation and a reflection on the appropriate approaches needed to communicate and connect with their audiences without trivializing Holocaust history. This paper critically examines the use of digital media by Holocaust institutions as one of these approaches. Incorporating personal experiences and scholarly sources, the following explores two case studies in the use of digital applications: the “New Dimensions in Testimony” interactive interviews prepared by the USC Shoah Foundation and the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, as well as the Second Life: Kristallnacht exhibition, created in collaboration with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The critical analysis of these cases can help professionals confront the challenges in representing difficult knowledge in their own museums.

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