Tree Swastika That Just Won't Go
BERLIN (Reuters) -
Germany's infamous giant swastika of trees
in a forest north of Berlin just will not
Two days after the government said it
had obliterated a 200-by-200 foot swastika
of golden larch trees visible only from
the air, a local pilot said on Wednesday
it could still be clearly seen.
"It is just as clear as it was before,"
said Lutz Priebsch, a local pilot
who flew over the Nazi symbol on Tuesday
after foresters tried to disfigure the
symbol by chopping down some of the trees.
"I took photographs yesterday and there is
no noticeable difference with what it was
A devoted Hitler follower planted the
distinctive-shaped swastika of
russet-colored larch trees 60 miles north
of Berlin in 1938. They are visible for
only a few weeks each autumn and spring
when the leaves change color.
A Reuters photograph of the forgotten
swastika published last month triggered a
national outcry and local authorities
rushed to remove the outlawed symbol. They
decided to cut down 25 of the 60 larch
trees with chain-saws on Monday.
Some state officials wanted to remove
all the larches as well as about 100
evergreens that formed the backdrop, but
were unable to obtain permission for the
radical plan because of a private property
dispute about half the land under the
swastika. © 2000
Reuters Limited. All rights
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