Forest swastikas

forest swastika

NAZIs planted trees of contrasting colour in the shape of swastikas in various forests around Germany.

The forest swastika was a patch of carefully arranged larch trees covering a 3,600 m2 (4,300 sq yd) area of pine forest near Zernikow, Uckermark district, Brandenburg, in northeastern Germany. The reason behind the planting of the trees is unclear, but it has been suggested that it was laid out in 1937 by locals to prove their loyalty after a businessman in the area was denounced and sent to a concentration camp by the Nazi Party for listening to the BBC, or that a zealous forester convinced local Hitler Youth members to plant the trees in commemoration of Adolf Hitler's birthday.

For a few weeks every year in the autumn and in the spring, the colour of the larch leaves would change, contrasting with the deep green of the pine forest. The short duration of the effect combined with the fact that the image could only be discerned from the air and the relative scarcity of privately owned aeroplanes in the area meant that the swastika went largely unnoticed after the fall of the Nazi Party and during the subsequent Communist rule. However, in 1992, the reunified German government ordered aerial surveys of the state-owned land. The photographs were examined by forestry students, who immediately noticed the design.


  • Paul
  • October 18, 2008, 5:12 pm
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  • 4

    Something I noticed whilst walking through Brighton. Those Crafty nazi's got the UK's table leg industry too!

    photo0096 - forest swastikas

  • 3

    swastika barracks

    These are barracks on a US Naval base in California.

    Conspiracy theory lovers...

    go - forest swastikas

    • adduco
    • September 21, 2011, 4:15 am
    - 24paperwings September 21, 2011, 8:45 am
  • 2

    stupid, the nazis took a symbol that meant "to be good" and turned it into something horrible.. cool design tho..

  • 2

    looks photoshopped to me

    • ew1090
    • July 4, 2009, 7:45 am
  • 1

    thats terrible

  • 1

    serious? (nickalfaro91)
    i think that it's a bad thing to do but gotta admit it wouls be pretty awsome to get some designs into forrests it would be cool to do a space invader or pc man XD

  • 1

    Yo IsayLOLTooMuch,

    He's referring to the swastika. not the tree's. Swastika is the image of a cross that has it ends turned to the right...meaning movement or the action of getting things done. Nazi's used this image because its it meaning, now it has been disgraced.

  • 1

    this is so cool the tree part i mean.they better keep
    them! cause its ART

    • saroan
    • July 29, 2009, 4:34 pm
  • 1

    How many ways did the nazi's manage to get a swastica into everything that people see?

  • 1

    what they dont tell u is that those forest are protected by the government no deforesting so it will last more then our life time lol jk but that would be a twist....

  • 1

    interesting to see how years later hitler and the nazi party is still in everyday converstions

  • 1

    as evil, cruel and a compleate dick hiltler was, that tree thing was actually a really clever idea

  • 1

    lol, im sure those jews were like "Hitler, what a dick!"

    • Zink
    • October 13, 2009, 7:33 am
  • 1

    The SWASTIKA IS A HINDU religious symbol - it is a harbinger of good fortune. The Hindu religion is at least 7000 years old.

  • 0

    i vote for my little pony trees!

    • ember
    • August 8, 2009, 8:02 am
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