USC Shoah Foundation’s Dimensions in Testimony exhibition, featuring Houston-area Holocaust survivor William J. “Bill” Morgan, allows visitors to have “virtual conversations” with Holocaust survivors by asking questions of their high-definition projections who then answer in real time via pre-recorded video images. The Museum’s temporary location is a beta testing site for the exhibition that will be on view through April 30, 2019. The exhibition’s final home will be in the permanent Holocaust Gallery at the Museum’s new Lester and Sue Smith Campus, opening June 2019 in the Museum District.
Bill Morgan, now 93 years old, is a survivor of the Stanislawow Ghetto. After obtaining a birth certificate from a Polish Christian, Bill escaped the ghetto and found work as a farmhand in Jezierzany, Ukraine. In 1944, he was drafted into the Russian army and was sent to the frontline. He deserted the army and went back to the farm where he worked until his liberation at the end of the war in 1945.
Dimensions in Testimony revolutionizes the concept of oral history by integrating advanced filming techniques, specialized display technologies and next-generation natural language processing to provide an intimate experience. Each specially recorded interview enables viewers to ask questions of the survivor about their life experiences and hear responses in real-time, lifelike conversation. Questions are answered naturally, as if the survivor is in the room, and through Artificial Intelligence, the more questions asked the better the technology becomes.
To date, 19 interactive survivor biographies were captured using 19 cameras with each survivor asked approximately 1,000 questions addressing topics ranging from pre-war life through the Holocaust and beyond. Holocaust Museum Houston is one of only four locations in the United States hosting this extraordinary learning technology.
Dimensions in Testimony is an initiative of USC Shoah Foundation to record and display testimony in a way that will preserve the dialogue between Holocaust survivors and learners far into the future. Collaborating within the project are Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, with technology by USC Institute for Creative Technologies, and concept by Conscience Display.
M – F: 9 am to 5 pm
Sa: 10 am to 5 pm
Su: Noon to 5 pm