The mystery of the forest swastikas of Germany is again in the news. Der Spiegel reports that the larch trees, presumably planted by the old Reich Labor Service in the 1930s near Brandenburg, are visible again. Under very restricted conditions, such as temperature, lighting and such, the larch trees turn to a golden yellow color, making them stand out in a forest of evergreens. First noticed in 1992 by Gunter Reschke and Okoland Dederow while examining aerial photographs of irrigation lines of old East Germany, the icon of Adolph Hitler and his Nazi regime have caused a good deal of angst. Despite attempts to cut the trees down, they keep popping up. Experts believe that the first effort to chop down the 140 larch trees failed due to them being as green as the other trees, so the wrong trees had been cut by accident. The symbol can only be seen from the air and for very brief times each year.

forest swastikas

So are you puzzled or confounded by this story? One would think that if they were serious about dealing with the situation, they would just cut down all of the trees in the area. But then that would probably raise the ire of environmentalists and other ′tree-hugger′ groups. The next thing you know, a bunch of smelly, unwashed Vegans will build tree houses and live among the larch trees to prevent the government from cutting them down. If authorities come around, the Vegans will throw their own feces at the lumberjacks and police. Then an army of spirit drummers in tie-dye shirts will show up to support the Vegans. News crews from around the world will camp out to cover the stand off between the German police and the tree-huggers.

Sound crazy? Yes, but we live in crazy times. Thus, the mystery of the forest swastikas in Germany lives on. If the government cannot deal with 140 larch trees after some 20 years, then what can they handle? Perhaps the German government secretly pines, no pun intended, for the old days when Adolph Hitler and the Reich Labor Service believed in ′Strength through Joy′? Who can say?