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About

The Project is under construction, and its implementation depends largely on the support we can get.

Words are sometimes not enough: an exceptional digital reconstruction of the area of the German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau based on the archival sources of the Auschwitz Memorial.

“Auschwitz VR” is a 3D computer app enabling the users to explore one of the most notorious, tragic, historical places in Europe. It is an accurate 3D reconstruction based on reliable sources – including photographs, technical documentation and other archival materials.

VR, the 360° stereoscopic view and accurately detailed rendering will give the opportunity to see every part of the camp as well as enter the buildings reconstructed with great diligence.

We are already planning to prepare learning scenarios based both on reliable historical research and the testimonies of survivors. These stories will tell about the human experience of horrific realities of concentration camp life.

Technology reveals history

VR enables:

  • the preparation of universal and multi-dimensional history lessons
  • the creation of reliable and detailed reconstruction of the concentration camp in various stages of its development
  • “walking” through the area, possibility of seeing many details of the camp from different perspectives
  • working with students who are brought up in the world of new technology
    the improvement and enhancement of students’ social engagement and increase of their knowledge retention
  • designing educational scenarios giving a unique opportunity to uncover details of the Auschwitz -Birkenau camp development as well as crucial events from its history and the fate of its victims raising awareness among wide groups of society

The past- here and now

  • “Auschwitz VR” gives a possibility to see the site of the German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp with all the structures that do not exist today.
  • The app content is based on a coherent combination of various historical sources: images, testimonies, documents and architectural plans.
  • It is a modern addition to the already available sources.
  • “Auschwitz VR” is a memorable experience – a different kind of history lesson.

Who will be interested in this app?

  • Schools, universities and other educational institutions
  • cultural and historical institutions from all over the world
  • Non-governmental organizations
  • Museums

How is virtual reconstruction created?

  1. Environment
  • A meticulous analysis of the camp blueprints and of all available resources including: terrain, layout of buildings and the arrangement of pillars and drainage ditches.
  • Preparation of blocked geometry- transferring the camp map into the 3D environment using Unreal Engine 4 (along with preliminary preparations for connecting to VR technology).
  • Creating detailed 3D models and realistic textures and successively replacing them with blocked geometry.
  • Working on realistic lighting and shading.
  • Adding details such as stones, branches, as well as particle effects including dust, mud and puddles.
  1. Props
  • Gathering references and analyzing objects and equipment which are filling the camp space: suitcases, clothes, personal belongings, trucks, wagons and locomotives.
  • Creating detailed models and textures based on photos, descriptions and archival documents.
  • Importing finished models to the engine and setting the shaders.
  1. Characters in educational scenarios
  • Gathering and analyzing references: photos, documents describing the clothing and markings of prisoners as well as SS garrison members.
  • Creating models and textures of all the characters from teaching scenarios.
  • Rigging- assigning controllers and motion templates to models.
  • Preparation of the animation sequence using the Unreal Engine 4
  • Preparing the scripts for educational scenarios.
  1. Sounds
  • Collection of reference materials for a maximum reproduction of the camp’s sound background.
  • Sound preparation: air noise, background sounds, etc.
  • Creating a sound map- audio sequences arranged in different parts of the map, the volume of which changes with the user’s location.
  • Adding voice-over as well as sound preparation for specific educational scenarios
  1. App structure
  • home screen: allows the user to select either exploration mode or scenario mode. The central hub of the application will also contain additional materials such as archival photos, documents, testimonials of the survivors, etc.
  • exploration mode: free discovery of the three-dimensional reconstruction of the Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp
  • educational scenarios: scripted sequences of events that resemble a movie in which the user is a spectator. The app will lead the users through a virtual story, limiting the possibilities of movement and interaction in order to focus their attention on the chosen story line. Scenarios are the elements of continuous application development.
  1. Virtual reality – a modern approach to teaching and commemoration

What makes the project so outstanding?
           
AuschwitzVR:

  • Is an evocative history and humanity lesson
  • Is a way of honoring and commemorating prisoners and victims of the camp
  • Is a virtual experience of the authentic historical site thanks to detailed and accurately reconstructed objects
  • The project is composed of experienced team members using modern tools. The author Sebastian Ośka has already finished projects such as: a short film The City of Ruins for The Warsaw Rising Museum, reconstructions of the Battle of Grunwald for National Museum in Warsaw,animation History of Poland presented at EXPO 2010, the film The Unconquered for the Institute of National Remembrance, a virtual walk through the 19th century city of Dzierżoniów and the campaign Hunger is a Monster for the United Nations.
Auschwitz-Birkenau Historical VR Reconstruction