So-called Forest swastikas have been causing huge debate in Germany, with the mysterious sight of swastika images appearing in the trees of a forest in the country. Some have called for the trees to be chopped down, where as other Neo-Nazis have taken to visiting the site as a type of homage.
The swastika, the symbol adopted by Nazis in World War II, is known to spark anger among many Germans who now see it as a symbol of the darkest period of their nation's history, and an image representing hatred and war.
The image of swastikas made out of trees in a forest region has been sparking increased debate and backlash, with the mysterious phenomena condemned by many.
The mysterious forest swastikas were originally discovered in 1992 by Ökoland Dederow, who was searching aerial photos for irrigation lines. However, what he saw stunned him – among the forests of green colored pine trees, were groupings of yellow larches, forming the image of a swastika.
The find was reported to authorities and investigators themselves hired a plane to fly over the region and see the swastika image for themselves. They confirmed the so-called forest swastikas were about 200 by 200 feet. They also measured the trees and carried out tests to estimate that they were planted around the 1930s.
There is no clear explanation for the trees, but most believe that the trees must have been planted in the 1930s as a sort of honor for the Nazi regime in Germany at the time.
In addition, a local farmer has even come forward to claim that he was paid money by a forester to plant the trees.
Others believe that a local village's inhabitants planted the trees to try and prove their loyalty to Hitler and the Nazi regime, fearing they would be targeted should their loyalty be questioned.
Over recent decades, Neo-Nazis have been known to travel to the sites of the forest swastikas as a kind of homage.
However, the mysterious forest swastikas have also sparked anger in many, and advocates have pushed for them to be cut down. In 2000 a group succeeded in getting approval for 25 of the 150 trees making up a forest swastika to be cut down.