European Tram – Warsaw Ghetto 1940
This is MiniArt’s 1/35 model of a European Tram (38001), converted to a vehicle in the Warsaw Ghetto circa 1940. For specific details of the kit and the build, there’s a WIP thread under the Groups tab, at http://imodeler.com/groups/work-in-progress-armor/forum/topic/european-tram/.
German influences can readily be seen in the somewhat menacing authority figure (from a separate MiniArt set). I still intend to add a few additional Jewish figures in due course.
While researching, I did find out about the Warsaw Ghetto trams themselves, and the ‘secret history’ of the Jews at a time when they had become non-citizens, but had not yet reached the point of being sent directly to the death camps as a matter of Nazi extermination policy.
The Ghetto trams were at first segregated between seating for ‘Aryans’ and for Jews, then ‘Jews only’ trams were introduced, with signs indicating the distinction. Gradually, trams were ‘colour coded’ in various formats and the authorities eventually expunged tram route numbers altogether from the usual external placements, leaving only a stark Star of David sign on display, as if to say, “You’re going nowhere.”
As such, there’s a poignancy, where these Jews had the belief that although they were under threat, at least they had reached a place of ‘safety’ together. The history of the Ghetto trams in turn mirrors that of the Jews, where the condition and labelling of a simple form of public transport reflected the political reality of a race facing extinction.
12 additional images. Click to enlarge.