Historic plum tree that grew in Warsaw ghetto has second chance to grow


WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — A mirabelle plum tree which grew in the Warsaw Ghetto area during World War II was cut down in December, but now has a chance to grow again.

Seedlings have been grown from the tree thanks to a pair of Poles, who 12 years ago brought three seeds from the historic tree to the United States.

The mirabelle plum tree grew at Walowa Street in Warsaw. The Polish-Jewish reporter Hanna Krall wrote about it in her book of memoirs from the war. She wrote that next to the tree after the war lay beads, which had been collected by local children. These beads came from Jewish shops, which were closed down during World War II. The tree survived the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto.

The tree was cut down to clear the area for the construction of an apartment building.

The cutting down of the tree was publicized in social media. It came to light that 12 years ago a Polish couple, Alicja and Wojciech Fizyta, carried three seeds from the tree to the United States and planted them in the ground near their Washington DC home. Trees have grown from the seeds and now the couple will send a seedling to be planted back in Warsaw.

The seedling will be carried by Polish artist, Patrycja Dolowy. “I hope the customs officers will not stop me, because the export of seedlings is forbidden. But it is symbolic action, Dolowy told the Polish-language Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper. “We have committed three generations to save the memory of this tree, which is a guard of the Muranow [district of Warsaw] Jewish past,” she said.