POV

S31 E19 | FULL EPISODE

116 Cameras

As the Holocaust survivor community ages, the USC Shoah Foundation has embarked on an ambitious new project to transform survivors into 3D digital projections. 116 Cameras follows Eva Schloss, a survivor of Auschwitz and stepsister of Anne Frank, through her story as an interactive hologram that will have conversations with generations to come.

AIRED: March 18, 2019 | 0:14:21
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

-Three, two, one, go ahead.

[ Whirring ]

[ Whirring stops ]

[ Whirring ]

Okay.

-My name is Eva Schloss.

Would you like to ask me some questions about my life?

-Why don't you ask me a question about Auschwitz?

-Why don't you ask me a question about Auschwitz?

♪♪

♪♪

Everybody said, "Never again, Auschwitz.

We have learned our lesson."

But it looks bad again in the world,

the hatred, discrimination,

so I thought it really necessary to teach and to speak about it.

♪♪

♪♪

-My name is Pinchas Gutter.

I will answer any questions yo u might have for me.

-How old were you when the war ended?

-I was between the ages of 13 and 14

when the war ended in 1945.

-But he doesn't move much, really.

-And that's his choice.

-But it's very Jewish to talk with your hands.

-Yes, it is. -And you should feel comfortable to do.

-And you can, you can. -Yeah, yeah.

-It's gonna be somewhat normal in 100 years' time

to have a person sitting in this position,

and it won't seem as unnatural.

When you start to get into the questions

and you start to get into the dialogue,

you kind of lose sight of the fact

that the person's not actually there.

♪♪

♪♪

-Gosh. My goodness.

-This is Andrew. -Yes.

-Hi, Andrew. Nice to meet you. Lisa.

-And this is Lisa, her granddaughter.

-Right now, there's about 100 cameras on the stage,

so we're recording everything in all directions.

The idea behind the green is that we can then

take out the green and replace it with any environment

that you're gonna be talking in the future,

so this could be a classroom, it could be a museum,

and we can put those backdrops behind you.

-Okay, those are all for the feet.

-In the beginning, I didn't know, really, how to speak.

You know, it's something you have to learn.

Eventually, I found my own voice.

♪♪

Okay, here we go.

-Good morning. -Good morning.

-How are you? -I'm feeling very well.

A little nervous.

-Okay.

-When did you first start telling your story?

-Since 1986.

I started to speak for the first time,

and I haven't really stopped since.

-Today's October the 9th, 1996.

The survivor being interviewed is Eva Schloss,

maiden name Geiringer.

-I realized suddenly that people are interested

and people do want to know about it,

and this was really a big turning point in my life.

-This is a repeat after me.

My name is Eva Schloss, and I'm a Holocaust survivor.

-My name is Eva Schloss. I'm a Holocaust survivor.

-I'm actually a recording, so I can't answer that question.

-I'm actually a recording. I can't answer that question.

-I don't remember.

-I don't remember.

-Maybe you should try to reboot.

-Maybe you should try to...

-Reboot. -Re-book?

-Reboot. -Reboot?

-Okay, never mind, never mind.

-Too technical for me.

I don't quite imagine how people will feel about that,

to pretend it is somebody really speaking to them

who lived in that time 30 or 50 years ago.

♪♪

-How did it feel to wear the yellow star, Eva?

-I was quite a stubborn child,

and I didn't want to wear the yellow star.

I didn't see why that was necessary,

and I had a big fight with my mother, didn't want to,

but my mother explained to me

very, very carefully and sorrowfully

why it was dangerous not to wear it.

-Can I just tell you these answers are great?

They're just the right length

with the right amount of details.

Wonderful. -Thank you.

-What happened when you arrived at Auschwitz?

-Men and women were separated, so people cling to each other,

cried, and really, really horrible.

And the guards came and beat us apart,

and my father took me by the hand and said,

"Eva, God will protect you."

♪♪

♪♪

I often think of actors who do every day the same story.

I worry, because if I would do the same thing all the time,

then I might get fed up with it.

-Have you come up with a name for the contraption

that you're in yet? -Cage.

-A cage? Okay.

-So, describe to us the most emotional situation

that you had to face while you were in Auschwitz-Birkenau.

♪♪

-I think the biggest shock I experienced was

when I saw my naked mother walking out of this bag

knowing that she was going to be gassed.

I think that was the hardest moment I experienced.

-And was she?

-She was saved, and we were reunited,

and she lived for a long, long time, till 93 years old.

♪♪

[ Whirring ]

♪♪

I'd always seen it in front of my eyes,

so I lived with it, really, you know?

I saw the inside of the cattle track where we were moved.

I saw Auschwitz.

I saw everything at night, especially when I was not busy.

You know, all those images came back.

Till I started to speak about it, then I could let go.

[ Whirring ]

♪♪

-Okay, this is over here, right here.

These are the gas chambers over here in this area.

And these are the forests around here.

-Yeah. -The pond --

The pond where you would've gone to get water

is all around this area here.

-How does it make you feel looking at that?

-Feel very confused,

because when you were inside, you had no idea --

-Of how big it was around it, yeah.

-And where and what and how everything connected to it.

-Yeah.

♪♪

-There's not a day goes by when I'm not thinking about them

in one way or another.

I wasn't coping at all after the war,

and it was Otto Frank who came very often to our house

who saw how I was suffering, and he really helped me a lot.

♪♪

I don't think I ever replaced Anne for him.

I personally had the feeling very often,

but that he never, ever made me really, really think that,

but I just felt it, that when he looked at me,

I always thought, "Is he thinking,

'Why did this child survive and why not my own daughter?'"

-Do you remember how you felt about Anne

after you read the diary?

-I must say I wasn't particularly interested in it

at first.

-Why not?

-I was much too busy to cope with my own grief.

♪♪

Anne Frank says in her diary, when she dies,

she would like to live on,

meaning she wants to become immortal, and she has succeeded.

♪♪

-How did your daughters cope

with having two parents who both experienced trauma?

-As soon as they were teenagers and older

and started to know more about our history,

I think they had difficulties to cope with it, to accept it.

-She told us sort of anecdotes and stories,

but it was almost like it was someone else's experiences,

not her own.

-There was a certain time where she didn't want

to talk about it and was protecting us.

-Our whole generation has been uprooted,

and as a result of the experiences

through which all of us have gone,

we have some psychological problems,

all of us, of one kind or another.

And our anchor to the future is our children and grandchildren,

which hopefully will find back into normality.

♪♪

♪♪

-Great day, great day.

You're gonna miss us, though.

-I'll miss it? -Yeah.

-I'm not so sure. -[ Laughs ]

-That's a wrap!

[ Cheers and applause ]

-Whoo!

-So, back to normality. -Back to normality.

But then you still picked to wear a gray -- -Gray, yeah.

I can't go right into a color after all this.

-Yeah, you need to ease yourself back to color.

-And a straw.

Here we are.

Usually twice a week, I go out speaking.

I said to my daughters,

who think I don't have to do all this,

I need it for my sanity.

Too hot?

-Mm-hmm.

-I got over it, the suffering.

The only thing that I still don't get over, really,

and I don't think I ever will is the loss.

♪♪

-This project will almost immortalize her

so that she can go on telling the story

once she's no longer with us.

But it is still a story, really.

It's what it is.

Unless you live through it, you can't fully identify.

♪♪

-I hope you don't forget what you've heard here today.

Goodbye.

♪♪

♪♪


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