“The Liberation” virtual tour, augmented reality app and podcast
After over 75 years since the liberation of the Dachau Concentration Camp, augmented reality is now helping people to experience what actually happened on the day the camp was freed like never before. A virtual tour and AR app beam historical photos right into the present day. Bayerischer Rundfunk developed its digital package “The Liberation” in close collaboration with the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, which has been able to work on the project thanks to financial support from the Stiftung Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft (Foundation for Remembrance, Responsibility and Future).
During the virtual tour, parts of historical photographs are gradually superimposed over pictures of the Memorial Site as it is now. This combination of contemporary images of the site and original photos of the liberation is then complemented by audio recordings; these clips give voice to some of the prisoners, liberators and journalists who were actually there, opening up a variety of different perspectives on how that day unfolded. So the Memorial Site itself acts as a kind of projection screen, with multimedia content creating a vivid audiovisual picture of the liberation of Dachau Concentration Camp.
The content of the virtual tour is available without actually visiting the Memorial Site and can be viewed on a PC as well as a smartphone or tablet. It can be found here.
“The Liberation AR” augmented reality app
The content of the virtual tour can also be viewed right there on the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site with the help of an augmented reality app. This app, “The Liberation AR”, guides the visitor around the site via their own smartphone or tablet, often positioning the historical photos at the exact spots where they were taken. The visitor can listen to the recollections of eyewitnesses in the app too. This app-guided tour takes in five stations around the outside of the Memorial Site and lasts about an hour.
(Online) workshop package
As soon as social distancing and hygiene regulations allow, the digital package will be accompanied by a workshop programme run by the Education Department of Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site for groups of pupils, students and young people who are interested in finding out more. For the time being, online workshops are available instead. If you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The Liberation: The Final Hours at Flossenbürg and Dachau Concentration Camps” – a podcast from Bayern 2
This companion podcast from Bayern 2 takes a deeper dive into the stories of certain prisoners and liberators introduced in the virtual tour and the app, at the same time expanding on them to examine the fates of inmates at Flossenbürg concentration camp. The podcast series is available (in German) in the Bayerischer Rundfunk multimedia library.
The Education Department of the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial provides a workshop programme for school groups, university students and groups of young adults relating to “The Liberation”. You can book either in-person or online workshops. The maximum number of participants is 30 and they should be above the age of 13.
Formats and structure of the workshops
Two different formats are available: either more centred on the virtual tour or on “The Liberation AR” app. After exploring these applications individually, the content is discussed in greater depth in group work. Format I is suitable for those groups that are not yet familiar with the Memorial Site. In this case an (online) guided tour is included in order to give an overview of the history of the Dachau Concentration Camp and the Memorial Site.
Groups that have not yet visited the Memorial Site can learn about the history of the Dachau Concentration Camp and the “Liberation AR” app within the visit. This can also be done digitally via an online guided tour. In this case, the online guided tour is combined with the virtual tour “The Liberation”. This workshop has a duration of 4 hours. The cost is € 110 per group.
Groups that have already visited the Memorial Site can experience the “Liberation AR” app on site and deepen their knowledge on the liberation of the Concentration Camp during the workshop. Groups that cannot come to Dachau, have the option of learning about the virtual tour “The Liberation” by the means of an online workshop. This workshop lasts 2,5 to 3 hours. The cost is € 90 per group.
To take part in these educational events you need video and audio-conferencing software (Teams, Jitzi, etc.) Furthermore, each participant needs to have their appliance (at least a tablet). Your guide will get in touch with you as soon as you have booked, so that you can make further enquiries.
Educational media handout
The Education Department of the Dachau Memorial Site has issued an educational media handout in German. This handout enables teachers and educators to independently organise workshops without having to necessarily visit the Memorial Site. The PDF is available here.
Language, inclusivity and practical information
Both the virtual tour and the app “The Liberation AR” are available in English and German. The podcast as well as the educational media handout is in German only. The free “The Liberation AR” app is available for iOS and Android and can be downloaded from the relevant app store. We recommend downloading the app in advance so it is ready to use straightaway once you get to the Memorial Site. “The Liberation” is not recommended for use by anyone under the age of 14.
The digital storytelling project “The Liberation” is not 100% inclusive. Care has, however, been taken to ensure that the language used is simple and easy to understand. Furthermore, in both the virtual tour and the app, the recollections of eyewitnesses have been provided as audio recordings and as text. Descriptions of the accompanying photos can be read aloud by screen readers in the virtual tour only. The AR app “The Liberation AR” comes with audio options to read its buttons and commands aloud.
Source Header: Archive Concentration Camp Memorial Site Dachau/Montage BR, Christopher Roos von Rosen.
Supported by Stiftung EVZ and Die Zeichensetzer