Beautiful Animation Uses Data Powerfully to Depict Human Loss in WWII

Holocaust deaths in WWII

Do not miss this beautiful interactive video that does a better job than anything I’ve seen so far at giving viewers some sense of the scale of human loss during WWII. Filmmaker/animator Neil Halloran specializes in “cinematic data visualization,” which is just a fancy term for “using stats to punch you in the gut.”

An especially illuminating gut-punch occurs about 6 minutes in, when tiny red soldier-silhouettes depicting Soviet military deaths stack up and up, dwarfing the body counts of all other nations involved in the conflict. Halloran’s method of helping viewers visualize these devastating losses, from Jewish deaths in the Holocaust to civilian deaths in nations under occupation, is haunting and brilliant and packs an emotional wallop.

Take the 17 minutes. You won’t regret it.

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