The Heroes Speak: Marking 80 years for the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Using AI technology from D-ID that animates still images, the men and women who fought on the frontlines against the Germans and are no longer with us will be “brought back to life.”
The March of the Living will take place this year on Holocaust Remembrance Day, April 18, 2023, the day before the historical date marking the 80th anniversary of the heroic Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The uprising lasted for about four weeks, during which time Jewish fighters inflicted heavy losses on the German army. This rebellion, a battle of a determined few against many, symbolized Jewish bravery during the Holocaust, inspiring many other Jews to rebel in ghettos, extermination camps, and in the forests.
As part of this year’s march events in Poland, the heroes and heroines who fought against the Germans in the ghettos, the camps, and the forests will be “brought back to life.” These individuals demonstrated outstanding courage and risked their lives to stand tall and fight back against the Germans. Many of them were murdered during the uprisings, but some survived to tell the story of bravery during those terrible days.
Thanks to technology developed by D-ID, an Israeli startup that employs generative artificial intelligence to animate videos based on images and text, the stories of the uprising will be told by the heroes themselves, from the words discovered in letters they wrote during the rebellion and testimonies of those who survived. The heroes’ voices were provided by some of Israel’s top artists who enlisted into this educational project to help enshrine and celebrate the bravery of the Holocaust fighters.
The story of the Jewish prisoner uprising in Birkenau in 1944
Dr. Shmuel Rosenman, Chairman of the March of the Living: “Jewish bravery during the Holocaust was for many years left out of general Holocaust consciousness, and Jews were portrayed only as victims who ‘went like lambs to the slaughter.’ Young people in Israel and around the Jewish world are not sufficiently aware of the many acts of bravery carried out by thousands of Jews during the Holocaust, and as an international educational organization, it is our responsibility to emphasize this. I am pleased that, thanks to advanced technology, we are able to bring the stories of bravery to life in the words of the heroes themselves in a way that speaks to young people today – and to the general public.”
The story of partisan fighter Abba Kovner from Vilna
Yigal Cohen, General of the Ghetto Fighters’ House Museum: “On the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, we see the immense importance in drawing strength from the power of the human spirit that enabled the rebellion, the inspiration created by its leaders, and passing it on to future generations and the masses of young people we face in Israel and the world, particularly at the generational turning point where Holocaust survivors are gradually disappearing from our lives. This is all achieved using innovative educational technology. We are duty bound to continue learning from those who rebelled – with weapons and documentation, in daily survival and in leadership for the benefit of all – and to continue educating about the values of mutual responsibility and activism. This is the moral legacy left to us by the heroes and heroines of the uprising.”
Shiran Mlamdovsky Somech, seasoned social tech entrepreneur, impact advisor, and impact leader at D-ID: “D-ID has made it a priority to employ state-of-the-art generative AI technology to advance important social causes, and today we are proud to be part of a powerful and important educational project that commemorates the Holocaust and its heroes. With artificial intelligence, we can “bring back to life” the heroes of the Holocaust and allow people from all over the world to look into their eyes and hear directly from their mouths, in first person and in their own words, the story of their courage along with the horrors they experienced. Through this unique and moving experience, we make the events of the Holocaust and the acts of bravery accessible to hundreds of millions of people, particularly to the youth around the world, some of whom have not yet been exposed to these facts. It is our duty to remember and never forget, so that the world comprehends the tragedy and to ensure that history does not repeat itself.”