At the height of Hitler’s power unknown loyalists planted a 60 by 60 metre area of Larch trees in an evergreen pine forest near a town called Zernikow, 110 kilometres north of Berlin. The Larch trees for most of the year were inconspicuous save for Autumn when their leaves turned orange then yellow creating the striking swastika.
The trees were forgotten as it lay in East Germany (The Communist side) and was only rediscovered in 1992 in an aerial sweep of the region. A first attempt in 1995 by authorities to fell half of the trees failed. The Foresters appointed to remove the symbol claimed otherwise and the symbol remained intact.
It wasn’t until 2001 that a Reuters photograph triggered protests in Germany and the swastika trees were finally removed by the Brandenburg State Forest authorities.
Another set of swastika trees was planted in Eki Naryn, Kyrgyzstan interestingly in Soviet territory.
Displaying the swastika symbol remains illegal in Germany today.