Bergen Belsen in the National Holocaust Memorial Hollandsche Schouwburg

The VR perspective on Bergen Belsen, initiated by SPECS Barcelona (prof. Paul Verschure) is temporarily on display in Amsterdam, in the Hollandsche Schouwburg, a former Jewish Theatre, now a  Holocaust Memorial. Memostory Bergen Belsen (MBB) aims to realize an on / off site museum infrastructure that preserves and presents the history of the Shoah through virtual reconstructions of former concentration and extermination camps. It uses an immersive virtual reality installation for the offsite presentation of the history of the Shoah and Nazi crimes. Via a touch screen, users can make choices about themes they want to visit via an interactive card.  Through “information foraging”, users are invited to actively explore the virtually reconstructed space to discover geo-localized information. In this case, the reconstructed and physical space serves as an access to historical material that creates a context to stimulate experience and memory. This approach has been successfully translated during ICACCESS in a number of prototypes for the onsite and offsite presentation of the history of the Shoah and Nazi Crimes in close cooperation with the Gedenkstätte Bergen-Belsen (since 2010), Falstad Memorial Center (since 2017), Kamp Westerbork (2017-2018), Jasenovac Memorial (2018-), Leti (2018-). Various immersive, non-interactive (2012) and interactive VR variants (2015-) were created that can be visited by several visitors at the same time. The installation answers the immediate challenge of how this history can be effectively presented in the absence of living witnesses or physical traces of the original buildings.