First Volumetric Short Film of an Interview with a Contemporary Witness: Ernst Grube – The Legacy

For today’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, the 3IT would like to remind of a special project of the partners Fraunhofer HHI and Volucap: The first volumetric interview with a contemporary witness of the Holocaust, filmed in 2019 in the Volucap studio in Potsdam-Babelsberg and titled “ERNST GRUBE – THE LEGACY”.

The short film has been realized as a cooperation of UFA, under the direction of UFA Technology head and producer Ernst Feiler as well as UFA SHOW & FACTUAL producer Philipp Grieß, together with the expert Dr. Oliver Schreer, Head of Immersive Media & Communication group at Vision & Imaging Technologies department at Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute.

As the last survivors of the horrors of National Socialism are aging, thus it becomes more and more important to find solutions to preserve their voices, in order to keep them alive also for subsequent generations.  Holocaust survivor Ernst Grube’s account has been recorded with the help of volumetric video technology and its underlying technology ‘3D Human Body Reconstruction’, which was developed by Fraunhofer HHI. In Volucap GmbH’s volumetric studio, which has made a name of its own, Ernst Grube narrates his personal experience in NS-Germany and his imprisonment in the concentration camp Theresienstadt. Through 16 camera pairs as well as an important amount of computer power, a lifelike three-dimensional depiction of Ernst Grube’s witness report was created, allowing for a direct integration in a virtual world.

The portrayal of Ernst Grube does not only enable the maintenance of a singular voice, it even approaches this heavy topic as a virtual reality experience. This is in particular relevant to reach also a younger audience, to whom the NS’ atrocities and the Holocaust might seem distant. The short film “Ernst Grube – the Legacy” is thus a pivotal contribution to a vivid German Culture of Remembrance.

The intersection of cutting-edge technology and social relevant topics further proves the relevance of immersive imaging technologies and calls for new perspectives on how the respective technology can contribute to society. Find out more about “Ernst Grube – The Legacy” in this interesting talk.