70 Voices will enable Android and iOS owners to hear from ‘victims, perpetrators and bystanders’ to commemorate anniversary.
Seventy years after the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp, an Android and iOS application is aiming to provide new insights into the Holocaust for modern-day smartphone and tablet users.
70 Voices: Victims, Perpetrators and Bystanders is the work of the Holocaust Educational Trust, which has made it available as a free download through Google, Amazon and Apple’s app stores.
The app will offer 70 different perspectives on the Holocaust from people who were alive at the time, at a time when the number of people able to give firsthand accounts continues to dwindle.
The app will provide a different “voice” each day for the next 70 days, with a weekly podcast also exploring the material’s themes and implications. The app’s content will also be published on the 70 Voices website.
“In this significant anniversary year, we want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to take a moment to learn something new about the Holocaust,” said Karen Pollock, the trust’s chief executive.
“We are always looking for new ways to reach people and this app puts that opportunity in the palm of their hands.”
The trust’s head of education Alex Maws said the decision to use apps for Holocaust education was an attempt to avoid commemoration becoming “a passive act”:
“In a world of Candy Crush and selfies, mobile technology may strike some people as rather frivolous – not a platform for serious engagement with truly horrific events of the past. I don’t share that view.
I think we need to communicate with people using whichever media they prefer, using whatever tools are available, and wherever we may find them. For better or for worse, the ‘space’ where we are going to find the most people today is on their mobile phones and tablets.”
This is not the first app using digital technology to explore the Holocaust and other aspects of the second world war.
In 2013, book publisher Penguin Books and developer Beyond the Story released an iPad app based on Anne Frank’s diary, with its text accompanied by notes, historic documents, audio and video clips.
Charitable trust Shadows of Shoah launched an iPad app in 2011 based on its artistic project using photographs and video accounts from Holocaust survivors, while in 2013 White Mouse Publishing turned the diary of another victim, Helga Deen, into a graphic-novel iPad app.
Meanwhile, general second world war apps include Timeline WW2 with Dan Snow, and The Second World War Story for adults, and D-Day for Kids for children.