Dimensions in Testimony℠
USC Shoah Foundation’s Dimensions in Testimony℠ enables people to ask questions that prompt real-time responses from pre-recorded video interviews with Holocaust survivors and other witnesses to genocide. The pioneering project integrates advanced filming techniques, specialized display technologies and next generation natural language processing to create an interactive biography. Now and far into the future, museum-goers, students and others can have conversational interactions with these eyewitnesses to history to learn from those who were there.
The Florida Holocaust Museum will be presenting beta test versions of Dimensions in Testimony℠ interviews with the survivors below starting in late 2021.
About the Survivors
Mary Wygodski (née Tabachowitz)
Mary Wygodski was born as Mercia Tabachowicz in Vilna, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania) in 1925. She remembers a lovely childhood with her family in a city of life and culture. When Nazis occupied Vilna in 1941, Mary and her family was sent to the Vilna Ghetto. They lived and worked there for two years, always believing the war would end while suffering through many aktions. At the liquidation of the ghetto, Mary was separated from her family, never to see them again. She was sent to concentration camps: first to Riga-Kaiserwald, then Stutthoff, and Magdeburg, where she was liberated by the American army. She immigrated to Palestine in 1945 with friends, and later met and married her husband Morton Wygodski. Eventually, they immigrated to the United States and she now lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. Her Dimensions in Testimony interview was filmed in 2021.
E. Edward Herman
Ed Herman was born in 1931 in Warsaw, Poland. When he was young, he and his family moved to Katowice, Poland, but they returned to Warsaw in 1939 just as the war began. His father left Warsaw for eastern Poland soon after they had arrived, and they were not reunited for ten years. In 1940, Ed, his mother, and his younger sister were sent to the newly formed Warsaw ghetto. As the liquidation began, his mother smuggled her children out of the ghetto and Ed traveled through Poland and Slovakia. After being captured and arrested in Slovakia, he eventually made it to Budapest, Hungary, where Ed was abandoned by his guide. He subsequently lived on the streets of Budapest for several months before moving into an orphanage, then with his aunt and uncle for the remainder of the war. He was reunited with his mother and sister after the war, but did not meet his father again until 1949 when he immigrated to Israel. Ed immigrated to Canada in 1954 where he earned his PhD in economics and met his wife Halina, also a Holocaust survivor. He has since retired from academics and lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. His Dimensions in Testimony interview was filmed in 2021.
Helen Kahan (née Sabo)
Helen Kahan was born as Hani Sabo in 1923 in Rozavlea, Romania. She was the oldest of seven children and lived a happy childhood. As a young adult, she moved with her brother to Budapest to work as a seamstress. When Nazis occupied Hungary in 1944, Helen returned to her family in Rozavlea, where they were soon forced into the ghetto before being sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau. She was transferred to Bergen-Belsen, then Lippstadt. As the end of the war approached, Helen was sent on a death march from which she escaped before being liberated by the Soviet army in Oschatz, Germany in May 1945. She was very sick after the war and spent a year in various hospitals and nursing homes before making her way back to Rozavlea in the hopes of finding family members. She married Kolman Kahan and they had two children. In 1967, Helen fulfilled a lifelong dream when she and her family immigrated to the United States. She now lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. Her Dimensions in Testimony interview was filmed in 2021.
Betty Grebenschikoff (née Ilse Kohn)
Betty Grebenschikoff was born Ilse Kohn in Berlin, Germany, in 1929. After Kristallnacht, she and her family tried to leave Germany, eventually immigrating to Shanghai via Italy. They arrived there in 1939 among thousands of other European Jewish refugees. In 1943, they were interned to the Hongkew ghetto in Shanghai by the Japanese. They were liberated by the American army in 1945. Betty and her family remained in Shanghai after the war where she married her husband Oleg Grebenschikoff. In 1950, she and her husband immigrated to Australia. They settled in the United States in 1953, reuniting with her sister and parents. In 2020, Betty was reunited with her childhood friend Ana Maria through their individual testimonies, which had been filmed decades before. Betty recorded her Dimensions in Testimony interview in 2021.
Additional Support Provided By
Dimensions in Testimony℠ was developed in association with Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, with technology by USC Institute for Creative Technologies, and concept by Conscience Display. Funding for Dimensions in Testimony was provided in part by Pears Foundation, Louis. F. Smith, Melinda Goldrich and Andrea Cayton/Goldrich Family Foundation in honor of Jona Goldrich, Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, and Genesis Philanthropy Group (R.A.). Other partners include CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center.