Forest swastikas are no joke in Germany.
Apparently standing for decades, the forest swastikas have presented a Nazis mystery that has stood the test of time, and of chainsaws.
Ökoland Dederow discovered the forest swastikas in 1992 while searching aerial photographs for irrigation lines. What he found astounded him. What he discovered was that a grouping of yellow-colored larches set against the green-colored pines made the distinct pattern of the Nazis symbol, the swastika.
Investigators hired a plane to survey the area once again and, sure enough, the forest swastikas were confirmed to be about 200 by 200 feet, standing out starkly against the landscape. Visiting the site on foot, they measured the trees and concluded the forest swastikas were planted in the 1930’s.
The forest swastikas mystery only has rumors as a lead for why the trees were planted to honor the Nazi regime. One local farmer claims a forester paid him a few cents per seedling to plant the trees. Some believe a nearby village may have created the forest swastikas has a sign of loyalty to the Nazis after one of their own was taken to concentration camps. Another forest swastikas rumor claims a local Nazi leader commemorated Hitler’s birthday with the planting. The most benign rumor says the forest swastikas were simply planted as a sign of thanks to the Reich Labor Service for building a street.
Such forest swastikas commemorating the Nazi regime are apparently not unique in Germany. There was apparently a time when making such symbols was “a fad among National Socialist foresters.” Besides the swastika, one forest has the year “1933” built into it.
Whatever its true origins, Neo-Nazis have been flocking to the forest swastikas. Needless to say, Germany’s officials didn’t like this reminder of their history written all over the landscape, so, in 2000, they allowed 25 of the 150 trees comprising the forest swastikas to be cut down.
Do you think the forest swastikas should be cut down, or should Germany use them as historical monuments to remind the people of history?