Hitler's tree to be exported to Toronto?thenews.pl 22.07.2009
The oak tree planted by Nazis in Jaslo, south east Poland, to celebrate Hitler's 53rd birthday may go to Toronto, Canada, where its wood would be used to build a synagogue.
The synagogue is planned to be modelled on the one in Jaslo that was destroyed by the Nazis during World War 2.
The tree has fallen foul of local mayor Maria Kurowska who wants it cut down, ostensibly because it is obstructing the construction of a new traffic island, as well as because of its infamous history.
Mayor Kurowska said she was happy to hear of the offer to have the tree removed to Canada. Meanwhile city authorities have not yet decided whether the oak needs to be felled.
One of the supporters of the tree remaining where it is, is the man who drew the local authorities attention to the oak, in the first place.
Kazimierz Polak was there when the tree was originally planted by the occupying troops.
"It was 1942. The Germans brought the sapling in a oak basket and planted it with honours in the central spot, on the crossroads of May 3rd and Kosciuszki streets," he remembers. Polak thinks it should stay where it is as, literally, a living memory of the dark days of the Nazis in Poland.
Councillors in Poronin, southern Poland, have discussed remounting a statue of Lenin which used to watch over the small town in a bid to boost the locality's ailing tourist market.
“Not much is going on here,” lamented councillor Anna Malacin from the town in the highlands where Lenin used to stay while in exile from Tsarist security forces preceding the 1917 revolution.
“Tourists are increasingly sparse, Poronin has fallen into a winter slumber, and the diminishing numbers can also be explained by the financial crisis. Are the times coming when we will need to reconsider Lenin and bring back the statue?” she is quoted in the local Tygodnik Podhalanski weekly as saying.
Poronin, which lies close to the skiing resort of Zakopane, once drew bus-loads of visitors from across the Soviet Union.
Vladimir Lenin, the architect of Bolshevik rule, lived in Poronin prior to the First World War, when the town was a part of the Habsburg Empire. The Austrian domains were considered a relatively safe place for activists to conspire against Tsarist Russia.
A museum (closed following the collapse of communism) was opened in 1948, and visitors descended from Czechoslovakia, Romania, East Germany and Yugoslavia. Poronin was also a staple fixture of Polish school trips.
The notion of bringing back the Lenin statue drew favourable responses amongst town councillors. However, several public figures are against the concept, including MP Stefan Niesiolowski (Civic Platform) who attempted to blow up the statue in 1970, but was foiled by security services.
The statue currently resides in the Gallery of Socialist Realist Art at Kozlowka, near Lublin.