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.

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  • 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!

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