About the Experience


In 2022, StoryFile and Meta joined together to create a curated exploratory case study centered on the Holocaust, combining Conversational Video AI technology with the immersive impact of VR & WebXR as part of a major inaugural Metaverse project.  The project is 100% free and will be available for audiences to experience in headsets, on a desktop, or on a mobile device. 

This project centers around Holocaust survivor Inge Auerbacher’s experience and memory as a 7-year-old girl who survived the Theresienstadt ghetto with her parents and her doll Marlene – named after Marlene Dietrich. 

The curated experience features memories from Inge’s childhood, including her time in the Theresienstadt ghetto, and later memories in her adult life reflecting upon her survival. Viewers will have the opportunity to meet Inge and learn about an array of objects and artifacts from her life experiences. Some of the interactions will feature animations similar to that of a “thought bubble.” The experience itself is not a full interactive interview, but rather a curated reflection of her survival with the opportunity to ask Inge questions about these featured memories. The experience should take about 15 minutes, with room to ask additional questions and to explore. 

StoryFile recorded a two-day interview with Inge Auerbacher on October 17-18, 2022, in New York City. We filmed Inge with a stereoscopic camera for the illusion of 3D presence in VR and WebXR. During this interview, we captured all media necessary to create the project in both English and German language. 

StoryFile, Meta, and participating organizations – including World Jewish Congress, UNESCO, and The Claims Conference – will launch Inge’s experience in both Germany and the United States in Summer 2023. This website will continue to grow with additional resources and educational scaffolding.

The ultimate goals of this project are to 1) share about the Holocaust experience through the personal lens of Inge’s memory and reflections; 2) explore the possibilities of a social impact project utilizing emerging technologies like Conversational Video AI and WebXR within the metaverse; 3) support ongoing efforts to counter Antisemitism by sharing and making accessible Inge’s story to a German and a wider, global audience.

Please visit aboutholocaust.org for resources.


 UNESCO does not endorse any product, service, brand or company.


Tell Me, Inge… is an XR experience combining StoryFile’s Conversational Video AI technology with hand-drawn 3D animation in a 360-degree canvas. It can be viewed either as a seated VR experience in a Meta Quest 2 headset or in a web browser on desktop or mobile. The piece is the same across platforms, but we feel the Quest 2 provides the best viewer experience because of the enhanced feeling of presence it offers. Tell Me, Inge…is available in English and German, and is suitable for viewers ages 13 and up.

While creating an XR experience with Holocaust subject matter, we led first and foremost with Inge’s own words and testimony. Before considering any creative or technical applications, it was important to become familiar with Inge as an individual and how she approaches preserving and sharing her story.

Once we had approval from Inge on this innovative approach to her memories, we considered very carefully the level of immersion to impose on the viewer: creating a dynamic, engaging 360-degree experience, but without making it feel as if the events depicted are happening to the viewer. 

Our guiding principle was: the viewer engages with the experience as themselves in the present. By asking questions to Inge Auerbacher, they can witness Inge’s memories of historical events. We occasionally use proximity to the viewer to create a dynamic 3D experience, e.g. rain falling overhead, or a postcard that flies by in the wind. But we never have animated characters in the scenes acknowledge or address the viewer. Even when some animated scenes surround the viewer in 360 degrees, a persistent floor and safe radius keep the viewer grounded in their present reality.

While preparing for Inge Auerbacher’s interview, we created our question list from a variety of sources, including Inge’s previous testimony, her memoir I Am a Star, conversations with Inge herself, as well as StoryFile’s own history with interviewing Holocaust survivors. 

During the two-day interview, it was a collaborative process and the crew often quipped that Inge was the “true director.” We had gone into the interview with a general sense of what we needed to make the experience work technically, and from there the memories and stories Inge shared determined the path forward. We did not have completed storyboards until after the interview because we understood that the vision needed to be guided by that.

It was important to Inge that we cover the pre-war and post-war sections of her life in addition to her time at Terezin. For the animated scenes, we focused on stories of people whose memories Inge carries with her. 

While creating the experience in the post-production phase, we remained in constant communication with Inge herself, checking details and confirming recollections. We relied on photographic reference whenever possible, both historical photographs and 3D scans of Terezin as well as Inge’s own personal photos from childhood and postwar. 

Tell Me, Inge…was always intended to be produced in both English and German languages. We conducted the interview with Inge Auerbacher in both languages, working from two identical question lists. Some differences naturally arose, as Inge expresses herself differently depending on the language. Some details and comments are in German responses that are not in their English counterparts, and vice versa. Since the English and German versions of the piece share the same animations, we were careful in production and editorial to match the animated responses as closely as possible. 


Many of Inge’s responses are lightly edited for clarity and length. We combined some responses that have overlapping content. We never edit to change the meaning or context of something that Inge said, and all editorial decisions are tracked, recorded, and reviewed by StoryFile leadership.

We chose to pair Inge Auerbacher’s video testimony with hand-drawn 3D animation because (A) we felt this would be a beautiful and effective way to engage the viewer in the 360 XR environment, and (B) the illustrated style is inherently subjective, and therefore matches the personal nature of Inge’s recollections, rather than imposing a burden of perfect photoreal accuracy. 

Our central creative principle was that the animations reflect the subjective, emotional nature of Inge’s memories. They are a depiction of the events of Inge’s life as she remembers them, not an objective window into history. However, we used historical reference photos as a basis for design, and strove for precision and accuracy wherever possible. We do not directly depict death and violence. 

We created specific likenesses (Inge herself, her mother and father, her grandparents, and her friend Ruth) when we had personal photos as references. All other characters are designed more abstractly, and take on some facial specificity when they are remembered by Inge. All animations and character designs were shown to Inge for approval during the production process.

First and foremost, we hope that viewers feel that they have spent time with Inge Auerbacher, that they have had a personal conversation with her. Each viewer, by asking different questions, will have a different path through the experience, but the important thing is the sense of connection with Inge. 


We hope that, by presenting Inge’s stories in this interactive XR medium and paired with 3D animation, the stories that Inge tells are felt more emotionally, and the viewer’s recollections of their conversation are more vivid and persistent. Though this is not an educational experience with a specific curriculum to impart, we hope that viewers leave the experience with curiosity to learn more about Terezin and the events of the Holocaust. There are a list of references for viewers to engage with as they choose to learn more background information about the Holocaust and Inge’s life.


Guiding Principles & Ethical Framework

StoryFile and Meta approached this project through the following ethical guidelines: 

Understanding the tension. There is tension and deep complexity between representing the Holocaust and using immersive technologies in order to do so. The intention of this experiment is to never hide the complexity, but to rather ask questions, to challenge any assumptions, to engage, and to ultimately reflect on the experience. The audience is never fully immersed in Inge’s memories, but it is still an experience for the audience. There will always be a gray line, but StoryFile approached the project with that intention from the start and with Inge’s blessing. And with any new medium of representation, these questions must be raised in order to understand the impact of the experience.

The concept of the metaverse is evolving and being defined in real time.  An important aspect to this project is to test Conversational Video AI technology and the centrality of Rather than waiting for potential issues to emerge, the goal of a project like this is to critically and thoughtfully engage with the possibilities and concerns of a rapidly evolving technology and infrastructure. 

Inge’s Agency. One of the project’s aims from the start was centering Inge as an active co-producer and creator. This is Inge’s story and in Inge’s words; she remained an active participant throughout the pre-production, production, and post-production process. 

Language Experience. The project was always intended to be produced in both English and German languages. We conducted the interview with Inge Auerbacher in both languages, working from two identical question lists. Some differences naturally arose, as Inge expresses herself differently depending on the language. Some details and comments are in German responses that are not in their English counterparts, and vice versa. We were careful in production and editorial to match the animated responses as closely as possible. 

Non-distortion. Due to the sensitive nature of the content, we were careful in ensuring accuracy in representing Inge’s story within the context of the Holocaust. Historical consultants worked closely with the team to ensure accuracy. 

Free, online experience. This project was never conceived as a consumer-driven experience. Meta supported StoryFile with a grant that helped cover costs associated with the technical development, animation, and production process. Starting in June 2023, the experience will be available online and free to a wide global audience. 

Countering Antisemitism

Antisemitism continues to impact Jewish communities around the world. With more recent upticks in hate crimes and anti-Jewish tropes, including mainstream representations, it continues to be imperative for governments, businesses, organizations, and communities to come together to counter this form of hate. As a memory project,  Inge’s experience actively centers her experience surviving the Holocaust and confrontations with antisemitism. Audiences are encouraged to ask questions throughout Inge’s recollection, which includes engaging with objects, pictures, figures, and animations.