Let augmented reality take you right into the stories, and experience up close how contemporary witnesses experienced the “Third Reich”. The last contemporary witnesses are at an advanced age, some over 90 years old. They were young during a time of horror. Now you can bring them into your home or classroom with the app WDR AR 1933-1945. Also in English!
As the witnesses tell their stories, you see 3D visual elements: You find yourself in the middle of a battle in World War II or stand in front of a fence in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. German bombers flying through your room in attack formation, London burning right in the middle of your very classroom.
HOW IT ALL WORKS
The app is easy to use: Aim your smartphone camera at an empty space on the floor from two metres away. As you aim, move your camera to scan the floor. A white circle appears. As soon as it is completely white, touch it. That is how you position the contemporary witnesses like a hologram. As they tell their story, you can look around the room and live the experience with your smartphone.
WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT
Our app consists of three individual stories about the Nazi era.
In “18 and Sent to War”, Wehrmacht soldiers talk about being frightened to death and feelings of guilt. At the age of 18, Jürgen from Königswinter becomes a tank commander. He makes life and death decisions. And at the same age, Willi from Duisburg is sent to war against his will. In the Ardennes offensive he runs for his life.
In the chapter “My Friend Anne Frank”, her best friends recall the days of their youth, as well as Anne’s arrest and death in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. With Augmented Reality, this National Socialist crime against humanity becomes tangible in a completely new way.
There are another three stories: Anne from Cologne experiences the war in an air raid shelter. “It was hell,” she says. Vera talks about the Blitz on London in which she loses her father. And Emma recalls the German Siege of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). Over a million people perish because Hitler is intent on starving the city.
WHAT AUGMENTED REALITY MEANS
Augmented reality, or AR for short, is technology that lets you place virtual images, three-dimensional animations and additional information in real rooms. It lets the contemporary witnesses sit across from you like holograms or walk through the room and tell you what they experienced during the Nazi era. Augmented reality blends the real world with virtual elements. The stories are short, around three minutes, but very intense and very moving. Use your tablet or smartphone (Android 8.0 and higher - ARCore support necessary!) to bring all these 3D animations and holograms into any room you choose.
Use Wi-Fi to download the app! The full app has a data volume of about 2 GB. The benefit of the app’s shelf structure is that you can download, delete and re-load each story individually.
Tested on following devices:
Samsung Galaxy S7,S8, S9, S10
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4
Google Pixel 2 & 3
Huawei P20 Pro
One Plus 5T