Gaswagen (Gas Van)

Discussion in 'Armory & Military' started by RocketmanTan, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. RocketmanTan

    RocketmanTan Well-Known Member

    Well, after discussing the topic, I've decided to go through with the idea of making such a model. It's obviously a very touchy subject, but I feel that a model for the 60th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference should be a model that depicts something from the actual Holocaust, not just some memorial.
    So, here's my model for this week; have some screenshots:

  2. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    I request that you make an appropriate statement about this model, in big letters, so those who may be "without" can learn. Thanks you.

  3. RocketmanTan

    RocketmanTan Well-Known Member


    The Gaswagen is one of the more prominent symbols of the Nazi Einsatzgruppen and the Holocaust in general. These vans were essentially mobile gas chambers, which could hold up to a hundred victims. With such mobility, the Einsatzgruppen could move from town to town easily and exterminate people on-location.

    Driver's cab is done:

    Experimenting with wheels:
  4. RocketmanTan

    RocketmanTan Well-Known Member

  5. DWest

    DWest Member

    I am glad that you made the decision to create this model, it may be offensive to some but it is a part of history. History is something that can't be changed and should never be denied. More and more these days you hear people and groups try to explain away the Holocaust as an Allied deception, they claim it never happened. Well it did happen and no amount of denial or fact twisting will change that. Few people know of this machine and it is important that they learn about it and what really happened during that terrible time in history. Thanks for the model.
  6. RocketmanTan

    RocketmanTan Well-Known Member

  7. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    I thinks it's amazing how many people have no idea about the Wannsee Conference! This needs to come out. There are too many younger people coming up who think this was exaggerated, when in fact, it is played down.

    Yours looks like a Saurer. They used the Opel Blitz for just about everything. At home point in the war, they were making the cabs out of a paper and glue product.! It's hard to believe they had a "trailer" version!


    Good job Rocketmantan!! :)
  8. shotgun219

    shotgun219 New Member

    Hi, as discussed on the "other forum" it's a magirus-Deutz. The saurer photo has been photoshopped, as the website says.
  9. Vince

    Vince Member

    Thank you Bryan, for bringing this to the attention of the younger generation. I had a schoolteacher, Mrs. Goldschmidt, with a heavy German accent. One day, someone wrote on the front of her podium with a marker "Goldschmidt is a Nazi spy" and a swastika. Mrs. Goldschmidt told our class that she was a teenager during the war. She was sent to America to visit relatives shortly before the war broke out, and was unable to return home. Her entire family back in Germany went to the camps, and all died. She left that graffiti on the podium for the rest of the school year, and every time I saw it my heart ached for her and what it must have represented to her. Even now, almost 40 years later, I can still clearly see that podium. So I will not personally build the van, but I appreciate your efforts to see that the world does not forget that this happened, not hundreds of years ago, but in the 20th century, to real people, like Mrs. Goldschmidt's family.
  10. Szdfan

    Szdfan Member

    I spent part of my childhood in Berlin. I rowed crew in high school and used to row at a club not far from the villa at 56–58 Am Großen Wannsee where the Wansee conference happened.

    While I'm not a military modeler, I've sometimes pondered about where the line was for those WWII era modelers. A model of a Gaswagen is objectionable, because it's too close to the Holocaust. But all those tanks and airplanes are not exactly examples of benevolent equipment either -- they were the weapons of an evil regime. One of my favorite locomotive classes is ubiquitous BR52 "Kriegslokomotiv" that the Germans build thousands of and ended up all over Eastern Europe (The Polish paper model of the Ty2 is the Polish variant). And yet when I watched "Schindler's List," I felt a moment of discomfort as I realized that those trains transporting Jews to the camps were all pulled by BR52's.

    I don't know where the line is, but I think it's an important ongoing conversation to have. Thanks for raising it.
  11. Vince

    Vince Member

    I'm a fan of Real Space myself, although I do have a download of the Bismarck waiting for me. I guess I would say the difference is that the Gasvan wasn't a strategic military vehicle, but used purely for murder of the innocent. I would also venture that the vast majority of German combatants weren't there with evil in their hearts, but with the patriotic intent of protecting their country and going home. They believed, due to propaganda, that the British, Russians and Americans were the bad guys. The Americans interned thousands of innocent Japanese-Americans because of propaganda and fear. And while the Americans did not resort to mass murder, they did strip those people of property and freedom, which is an abomination to the US constitution. So as a comparison of strategy and technology, it is fair to build all sides of a conflict, but that doesn't mean you agree with the propaganda or the resulting atrocities of war. Just my opinion, of course.
  12. RocketmanTan

    RocketmanTan Well-Known Member

    Wow, that's certainly something. I admire her for her strength, and her courage for leaving that graffiti up. The holocaust was a terrible thing, for both the victims and well-meaning Germans alike. The victims had their lives torn from them quite literally overnight, and the Germans have forever been branded as murderers and sadists. For people like your Mrs. Goldschmidt that were caught in between, there must be an unimaginable feeling of hatred, frustration, and confusion.

    Even now in my German class, there would always be an awkward silence whenever someone "mentions the war"...
  13. RocketmanTan

    RocketmanTan Well-Known Member

  14. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    Actually, this was a very clever way to remind people of this. I think the over all affect was positive,and I cannot say that I was sure of that in the beginning. That is the difference between and Artist, and someone like me, who just makes things. Thanks! :)

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