Eva Umlauf – her testimony


  • Name: Anja Ballis / Oliver Schreer /Sönke Kirchof
  • Role: Director / Director / VR Production
  • Institution/company:Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität / Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institut / INVR.Space GmbH


Domain or subject area: Cultural heritage/Documentary/Education/Social

Learning about the Holocaust based on personal experiences is an increasingly difficult task. Most of the survivors have already passed away, which is why preserving the stories of those who are still alive has become an important mission. Thanks to the generous funding provided by the EVZ Foundation, Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institute (HHI) and Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich have collaborated to develop a VR experience centred around the story of Dr. Eva Umlauf, which is considered as one of the youngest survivors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. With the technology of the volumetric video, whose basic technology "3D Human Body Reconstruction" was developed by researchers at Fraunhofer HHI, the memories of the Holocaust survivor Eva Umlauf were recorded for future generations. Eva Umlauf was captured in the volumetric studio with the help of 32 cameras. A lifelike three-dimensional image of Eva Umlauf is then calculated from the video information using computer vision methods and can be directly integrated into a virtual world. This "walk-in film" illustrates a contemporary document in an unprecedented way. The aim is to convey the topic as a virtual reality (VR) experience, especially to younger generations, to whom the events of National Socialism seem far away. The "Contemporary Witnesses" project sets a new milestone in the documentation of a central chapter of German history and thus makes a valuable contribution to the German and European culture of remembrance. The full VR Experience was completed in May 2023 by the VR production company INVR-SPACE GmbH. It comprises three episodes: 1) Eva's apartment in Munich - Life and survival, 2) Arrival and liberation at Auschwitz-Birkenau - Remembering torture, 3) Eva's memorial speech at the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial site in 2011 - Her message. Each of the episodes has a duration of 8-10 minutes and the user can decide, which episode would like to be experienced with the eyewitness. This virtual reality experience uses for the first time the technology of the subsequent animation of the volumetrically represented person. This makes it possible for the witness Eva Umlauf to always look at the user in the experience and provide eye contact, as the head is turned towards the user in real time. In the context of preserving contemporary evidence, this VR experience is also unique.

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  • Creators of this project:University or Research Project
  • Contact details:Oliver Schreer
Teaser Video/Image How to access

Technical Description

  • Technologies utilized in the experience: Volumetric Recording, VR (6DOF)
  • Hardware required to experience the project: PCVR Headset
  • Operating system: Windows
  • Language(s) used or supported in your experience: English, German
  • Is your experience a single-user or multi-user:Single-user

Project Details

  • Creators of this project: University or Research Project
  • Date of completion: 12/05/2023
  • Acceptable conditions: The VR production " Eva Umlauf – her testimony" is provided free of charge and for educational use only. Further distribution is not allowed. The user has to sign an agreement of use before receiving the download link.
  • Licence Model:

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