Auschwitz town gets app to remember Jewish past

By Mark Robins, July 4, 2012

The town in southern Poland where the Auschwitz concentration camp was located now has its own iPhone app.

The app, called Oshpitzin - the Yiddish name for the town, uses the latest technology to tell the story of the pre-war Jewish community of Oswiecim.

On the eve of the Second World War, the town's Jewish community, which dated as far back as the 16th century, comprised around half the population. The community was all but obliterated in the Holocaust.

The app is a project of the Auschwitz Jewish Centre, a non-governmental organisation that serves to educate the public about the Holocaust as well as to guard the memory of its victims.

Augmented reality, survivor testimonies, an audio-guide of the town's Jewish heritage sites and 3D models of the destroyed Great Synagogue all feature in the app, which was launched on Tuesday.

The app will be available soon at the iTunes app store and will be released later this summer for Android.

Auschwitz Jewish Center Director Tomasz Kuncewicz said: "It opens a totally new way of educating about the Jewish history and the destruction caused by the Holocaust".

"It's a way which today is the most appealing to the new generations."

Last updated: 4:34pm, July 4 2012