Auschwitz. Not long ago. Not far away’, the most comprehensive Holocaust exhibition about Auschwitz ever exhibited in North America, at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, features self-guided visitor multimedia and guided tours supported by Imagineear’s design and technology.
The exhibition opened in New York City after completing a successful run at Madrid’s Arte Canal Exhibition Centre, where it was extended two times, drew more than 600,000 visitors, and was one of the most visited exhibitions in Europe last year.
The exhibition was produced in partnership with the international exhibition firm Musealia and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland. The groundbreaking exhibition, curated by an international team of experts led by historian Dr. Robert Jan van Pelt, explores the dual identity of the camp as a physical location—the largest documented mass murder site in human history—and as a symbol of the borderless manifestation of hatred and human barbarity.
“This is the second iteration of the exhibition tour,” explained Alex Nugée, Project Manager at Imagineear. “When it opened previously in Madrid, the visitor tour was on our MediaPacker™ devices. In moving on to New York, Musealia looked to enlarge and develop the exhibition further to work better in the space offered by the Museum of Jewish Heritage. They also wanted to emphasise the importance of educating new audiences to the historical significance of the events that took place in Auschwitz. This naturally led Musealia to upgrade the technology hardware to match the new extended experience.”
Featuring more than 700 original objects and 400 photographs, mainly from the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, the New York presentation of the exhibition allows visitors to experience artifacts from more than 20 international museums and institutions on view for the first time in the North America, including hundreds of personal items—such as suitcases, eyeglasses, and shoes—that belonged to survivors and victims of Auschwitz. In addition, the Museum of Jewish Heritage has incorporated into the exhibition nearly 100 rare artifacts from its collection that relay the experience of survivors and liberators who found refuge in the greater New York area.
The interface design of the self-guided tour was created by Imagineear to reflect the look and feel of the exhibition and then the content was coded and installed. Scripted, recorded, and translated by Musealia, the tour is available in eight languages — English, Spanish, French, Hebrew, Mandarin, German, Polish, and Russian — on 700 of Imagineear’s advanced MPi™ touch-screen devices. In addition, 300 DigitalGroupGuide™ devices were supplied to the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust to enable its guides to take educational groups around the exhibits. Large audio visual screens show original video footage, which is synced to visitors’ devices as they arrive at each screen by Imagineear’s intelligent communications technology. This enables other visitors to reflect on the poignant nature of the displays without noisy sound intrusion.