Jan 24, 2022

Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center Helps Holocaust Survivors Tell Their Stories

The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center has long focused on honoring the memory of people murdered during the Holocaust and preserving the stories of those who survived.

Now a new pair of short virtual reality films will enable visitors to hear those stories while experiencing immersive visuals that help explain the survivors’ experiences. One film, entitled A Promise Kept

, tells the story of the late Frieda “Fritzie” Fritzshall, who was imprisoned and enslaved at Auschwitz as a teenager, and went on to serve as president of the museum until her death last year at age 91. Other imprisoned women would give Fritzshall, the youngest of a group of 600, crumbs of food. The title comes from Fritzshall’s promise to them that if she survived, she would tell their stories. Her grandson Scott Fritzshall says that she was able to wrap up filming for the project before she died.

The other film, Don’t Forget Me, commemorates the experience of survivor George Brent at the Auschwitz, Mauthausen, and Ebensee concentration camps. It takes its title from Brent’s father’s words to him at Auschwitz, before they were separated. Brent was later sent on to do brutal forced labor at the other two camps.