How a Virtual Reality Model of Auschwitz Helped Convict an SS Concentration Camp Guard: A Short Documentary on a High Tech Prosecution

In 2016, Reinhold Hanning, a former SS guard at the Auschwitz concentration camp, was tried and convicted for being an accessory to at least 170,000 deaths. In making their case, prosecutors did something novel--they relied on a virtual reality version of the Auschwitz concentration camp, which helped undermine Hanning's claim that he wasn't aware of what happened inside the camp. The virtual reality headset let viewers see the camp from almost any angle, and established that "Hanning would have seen the atrocities taking place all around him."

The high-tech prosecution of Hanning gets well documented in "Nazi VR," the short documentary above. It comes from MEL Films, and will be added to our collection of online documentaries.

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It's hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

Also consider following Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and sharing intelligent media with your friends. Or sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

Related Content:

Auschwitz Captured in Haunting Drone Footage (and a New Short Film by Steven Spielberg & Meryl Streep)

Carl Jung Psychoanalyzes Hitler: “He’s the Unconscious of 78 Million Germans.” “Without the German People He’d Be Nothing” (1938)

From Caligari to Hitler: A Look at How Cinema Laid the Foundation for Tyranny in Weimar Germany

Watch World War II Rage Across Europe in a 7 Minute Time-Lapse Film: Every Day From 1939 to 1945


by | Permalink | Comments (1) |

Support Open Culture

We're hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture's continued operation, please consider making a donation. We thank you!






Comments (1)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • Jim says:

    Fascinating to use such technology in this manner. I wish the film would have shown us more “footage” of the VR Auschwitz Model. What takes away from any attempt at impartiality in this film are the gratuitous swipes at Donald Trump – both from der Spiegel cover accusing Trump as being KKK and in his quote at the very end, trying to make it sound like he was defending such behavior. There were thousands of others more relevant who could have been quoted, but instead, the makers made sure to include a slam against the current American President. It is that fact, and that fact alone, which determined my decision not to recommend, nor forward this film to others. What a shame to have tainted a serious documentary with the makers’ political bias!

Leave a Reply

Quantcast