Auschwitz 36002.07.2023 - 12:00 / Institute of Art and Design, Pedagogical University, ul. Podbrzezie 3
Auschwitz/Israel – The victory of Ruah/the Spirit
Is this some consolation that once facing death we are talking about the immortality of the spirit? None at all. We die alone. And lonely. Those who have been killed will not resurrect. Their lives won’t be reborn … until the Messiah. We are lonely and helpless? Are we really?
The journey from Krakow/Kazimierz to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum is straight and easy: merely 85 kilometers. This German death camp was located in the shadow of Krakow. And the camp is still there. So crowds of people/ tourists go there – what for? …. Well, the answer is by no means easy. I will not return to Auschwitz. I am not a tourist. If you want to avoid a crowd of “visitors” and want to face something as unimaginable as ordinary, i.e. death, and you want to be “there” and touch the living monster of the Holocaust – do not go to Auschwitz. Break this barrier, overcome your internal resistance and get into the virtual reality: walk through the Auschwitz sitting within the safe walls of the Jewish city of Kazimierz.
We will show you the film which gives you a testimony of a miracle: it was made within a closed museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau, in the middle of pandemic, when nobody was making films, taking the plane flight or crossing borders. One of the directors (creators?) of the film is Miriam Cohen, a young orthodox Jew. At that time she was expecting another baby of hers. The doctors strictly forbade her to go anywhere, warning her that she might lose the child and that she might die herself as well. She knew it, yet she felt that she had to go. “I lit candles, and I prayed. I looked after the child and myself. I went to Auschwitz. I had to do that. I came back. I gave birth to a healthy child. We won.”
Before the screening of the films, Miriam will tell us both about the history of making the film and about her own history of “survival”.
I watched this film in Jerusalem. Alone. On a beautiful sunny day. There were about one hundred people around, yet each of us was somehow alone: like each of those gassed, burnt, shot down, like each of those six million people. When I returned to the “normal world” after this one hour, this world seemed more virtual to me than the world whose frightening reality I could experience in the virtual surroundings. The paradox of our times.
The last scene of the film was the fulfillment of my dreams. I shows and illustrates what the victory of the spirit over death really is. This is not a journey through the depths of hell. Quite opposite: this is an exit from hell and getting rid of all the illusions lying at the core of the naïve faith in the goodness of humanity and of the world. Murdering Jews still goes on. The Holocaust is not a closed book. We do not need another museum of victims and death. We need each other; we need faith and strength to survive and to win. Am Israel Chaj!
Film for persons over 14 y.o. Free admission cards available at 32.jewishfestival.pl; limited number of participants (25 persons). Please read safety information below.
Organized in partnership with the Institute of Arts ad Design of the pedagogical University in Krakow
INFORMATIONS ABOUT VR PROJECT AUSCHWITZ 360
- The VR tour “Auschwitz 360” is addressed to the visitors above 14 years of age.
- During the tour, the minors must be accompanied by their parents or legal guardians.
- VR may affect your labyrinth, spatial orientation, sense of vision and hearing, which might result in developing simulator sickness, attacks of epilepsy and other conditions.
- The VR must not be used by persons suffering from epilepsy.
- The VR may affect the ability to operate machines and vehicles. Before you get on the car, please wait until the symptoms of simulator disease resolve or at least 30 minutes. Be careful so as not to cause an accident!
- The VR devices emit radiofrequency which might affect other devices.
- Using VR may affect your sense of hearing. Please, adjust the volume!
- In case of any worrying symptoms, such as: convulsions, loss of consciousness, vertigo, headache, tachycardia, eye soreness, problems with vision (poor vision), muscle tremor, involuntary movements, disorientation, coordination disorders, excessive sweating, increased salivation, nausea, somnolence, increase of motion sickness – the use of the VR must be immediately discontinued and the incident reported to the VR service staff.
- The symptoms of simulator sickness may increase and persist for a few hours.
- If you are not sure whether you can use the VR, please consult a doctor or the VR service staff.
- In the case when VR service staff or the staff of PRZEJŚCIE Innovation Center notice any worrying symptoms in the person using the VR, they are entitled to ask the person with the symptoms to discontinue the VR use.