New item in our collection

We are happy to announce that the Warsaw Ghetto Museum collection became enriched with a new interesting item — a BMWR66 motorcycle designed in 1938 in Berlin. Here is the story behind this exceptional object.

The WGM Head of the Collection Department, historian Rafał Pakuła talking about the BMWR66 [in Polish].

The motorcycle was first presented to the general public at the Motorcycle Salon in Berlin in 1938. The R66 model used to be one of the biggest and the fastest serial motorcycles in the world at the time. The decal on the motorcycle refers to the most prestigious division — The 1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, Hitler’s personal bodyguard unit.  Originally (like all BMWs built on this platform) it was adapted to run with a sidecar, but it was then necessary to use an end gear with a different ratio. After World War II started, it was changed into a military vehicle.

One of these vehicles will make a part of the WGM permanent exhibition. The motorcycle with a sidecar was reconstructed by Dariusz Kania with the help of historical vehicles expert Adrian Malinowski. It is worth mentioning that almost 80% of the original parts were used during the reconstruction. Even though it is only supposed to be a part of the exhibition, the motorcycle is fully technically sound — this fact gives us additional satisfaction and makes the news even more exciting.