About the exhibitionexilarchiv2023-09-06T12:56:44+02:00
About the exhibition
The exhibition showcases a new type of eyewitness testimony: digital interactive interviews.
Eyewitnesses Inge Auerbacher and Kurt S. Maier told their stories during the interviews: they talked about their experiences of anti-Semitic persecution and exile after 1933 and described their arrival in a hitherto unknown land.
The interviews were recorded in specially equipped studios in the USA, where Kurt and Inge live. The interviews took five days each, with the eyewitnesses spending 8 to 9 hours in the studio every day and answering more than 900 questions.
You can experience Kurt and Inge's interactive testimonies as part of the exhibition. Use the opportunity to engage in dialogue with them. Don't ask your history book. Ask Kurt and Inge.
The exhibition also offers many other exciting ways to access the topic: animated graphic novels provide an introduction to Kurt and Inge's life stories. You can collect questions as part of a game. Personal photographs and documents show how Kurt and Inge grew up and how National Socialism changed their lives. Apply these experiences to your own life. What comes to mind when you think about identity, ostracism and new beginnings? You can deepen your knowledge of this era at various media stations.
Kurt S. Maier während des Interviews in Washington, D.C., Juli 2021 (Foto: DNB/Theresia Biehl)
Kurt S. Maier was born in 1930 in Kippenheim. When he was 11, the family Maier was able to flee to the USA. Part of his life story is not only the experience of exile but also the forced deportation of the jewish community of Baden to the French camp Gurs in the Autumn of 1940. Kurt was interviewed for our interactive testimony in his home city of Washington, D.C. in July 2021.
Inge Auerbacher während des Interviews in New York, Oktober 2022 (Foto: USC Shoah Foundation/Keith Putnam)
Inge Auerbacher was born on in 1934 in Kippenheim. On 22 August 1942, Inge and her parents were deported to Theresienstadt, where they were imprisoned until the camp was liberated by the Red Army on 8 May 1945. The family emigrated to the USA in May 1946. Inge was interviewed for our interactive testimony in his home city of New York in October 2022.
About the interactive interviews
In order not to lose the crucial accounts of contemporary witnesses, they have been recorded for decades now. This allows future generations the chance to occupy themselves with them. Interaction with the witnesses themselves may not be possible, but advanced technology allows a dialogue with digital testimonies. This is no replacement for live conversations with witnesses, and is not intended to be, but it allows a new form of interaction.
The USC Shoah Foundation has developed the programme Dimensions in Testimony which the interactive interviews with Inge Auerbacher and Kurt S. Maier are also based upon. Are these digital contemporary witnesses a viable format? That is what we hope to discover with this exhibition. We need to do it now, while the witnesses are still able to inform us about Shoah and exile.