The Indiana Historical Society (IHS)’s newest exhibit, Dimensions in Testimony, opens March 12 at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.
Brought to IHS in partnership with CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center, this groundbreaking project from USC Shoah Foundation enables people to ask questions that prompt real-time responses from pre-recorded interviews with Holocaust survivors and other witnesses to genocide — including Eva Kor. It integrates advanced filming techniques, specialized display technologies and next-generation natural language processing to create an interactive biography — allowing conversational interactions with these eyewitnesses to history.
“Dimensions in Testimony is an incredible way to interact with a Holocaust survivor — it feels like a real-time conversation guided by the guests’ own curiosity and interests,” said Troy Fears, executive director of CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute. “People walk away amazed at the ease of it all, and the impact it has on our patrons at CANDLES is very powerful. It is, by far, the most talked-about exhibit in our museum and leads to a deeper reflection of the meaning and consequences of the Holocaust.”
Dimensions in Testimony runs through January 2024. It is an initiative by 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. Funding for Dimensions in Testimony was provided in part by Pears Foundation, Louis F. Smith, Melinda Goldrich and Andrea Cayton/Goldrich Family Foundation in honor of Jona Goldrich, Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, and Genesis Philanthropy Group (R.A.). Other partners include CANDLES Museum and Education Center.
CANDLES is an acronym for Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors. It was founded in 1984 as a nonprofit organization by Eva Mozes Kor with help from her twin sister, Miriam Mozes Zeiger, to launch an effort to locate other surviving Mengele twins. As a result of their efforts, they were able to locate 122 individual Mengele twins living in 10 countries and four continents. The search for more twins continues to this day.
In 1995, Eva opened the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Terre Haute. In 2003, the museum was firebombed by an arsonist and burned to the ground. With support from the community and organizations, a new museum building opened in 2005 and remains an important part of the community today.
“As Indiana’s only Holocaust Museum, it made perfect sense for us to partner with Indiana Historical Society to help tell the story of our museum’s founder, Eva Kor,” added Fears. “This opportunity will help bring Eva’s story of forgiveness to a broader audience. Once patrons visit IHS, I hope they will want to travel an hour west on I-70 to visit CANDLES — and, more importantly, be inspired to make a difference.”
Also opening at IHS on March 12 is another new exhibit, Eva Kor from Auschwitz to Indiana. Exploring how Kor’s life and legacy teach us about the horrors of the Holocaust, the realities of antisemitism and the power of an individual to make change, the exhibit includes never-before-seen artifacts and images, original film footage from award-winning documentarian Ted Green and several dynamic interactive elements, like a virtual reality experience that transports visitors to Auschwitz and includes Eva’s own voice recounting her experiences there.