A Holland-based museum uses virtual reality so visitors can visualize what the Nazi transit camp Westerbork looked like, including every small detail like the strands of barbed wire and bricks. Writing at The Times of Israel, Matt Lebovic tells us more:
Last month, museum staff began piloting a virtual reality (VR) simulation with tour groups, in part to help visitors envision what took place at Westerbork. Inside a dimmed room with wrap-around screens, volunteers have begun using a console to explore the camp as it appeared between 1942 and the end of deportations in 1944, when Anne Frank and her family were held at Westerbork on the way to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
By zooming in and out of the GPS-based model, users can focus on dozens of barracks, several guard towers, and all kinds of camp facilities. Unlike the Nazi-built death camps in occupied Poland, many photographs were taken at Westerbork during its operation. The images helped build a simulation with details including individual bricks, strands of barbed wire, and imperfections on wooden shingles.
According to Westerbork historian and guide Bas Kortholt, the VR model appeals to museum visitors who enjoy shaping their own experience, as opposed to people who prefer being presented with personal stories or artifacts.