(K. Brent Tomer),
STEVEN FRANK’S face is calm, his dark eyes sunken and flickering slightly. At 81, he is one of a dwindling number of survivors of the Holocaust who dedicate their lives to speaking with children about their experience. Seated in a red leather armchair, he perks up when the schoolgirl from Nottingham asks the inevitable question: “Are you related to Anne Frank?” There is a slight pause as Mr Frank shifts; his face becomes animated. “Frank is a name as common in Holland as Smith in England,” he answers, smiling.
The question-and-answer session took place last week, like scores of similar exchanges at Holocaust education centres around the world. But it will also take place for decades to come. Mr Frank has been speaking from a screen; he and nine other elderly survivors are the first people to be preserved as interactive witnesses to history, thanks to a pioneering project in 3D and speech-recognition technology.
At the National Holocaust Centre in the East Midlands of England, the “Forever Project” recreates a powerful experience: children engage first-hand with adults who endured the Nazi genocide as children, whether in hiding, in…Continue reading