Memoria [EN] No 42 (03/2021) - Page 5

European Jewish life. One often feels that such a figural presentation was deliberately presented here to justify or even demand the destruction of this folk-art curious world”. He later included information on how the Department's activities were perceived: “The Ghetto residents consciously distanced themselves from the Department because they felt the figurines in the display cabinets did not serve artistic or cultural-historical purposes but were otherwise contrary to Jewish interests”. Nevertheless, it is also possible that the diorama in question was created in secret, independent of official initiatives. The lack of preserved or discovered documentation does not allow one to draw any definite conclusions. The story of its creation is still waiting to be uncovered.

The model in question has at least two interpretations of the historical event it captures. The first one, accepted by historians and museum workers, assumes that it is a scene of forced resettlement of Łódź Jews to the ghetto in early 1940. Several elements point to this. The first of these is the season depicted on the model. The establishment of the ghetto was announced on 8 February 1940; the forced organised resettlements continued until the first half of March of the same year, while the ghetto borders were finally closed on 30 April 1940. The season is also reflected in the sledges used by the resettlers to transport their belongings. Similar scenes of the transport of objects and residential equipment are known from photographs depicting the moment of resettlement, when hundreds of people were dragged towards the Old Town and Bałuty, the location of the ghetto.

A thorough examination of the details gives cause to question the first interpretation.  

At the centre of the model, the artist placed the figure of a law enforcement officer (Ordnungsdienst) assisting with the resettlement. The man sitting on the cart is wearing a blue cap with a yellow band and a yellow and white armband with a blue Star of David, characteristic of the Jewish group in the Łódź ghetto. The group was established in late February 1940;