Historic Warsaw Ghetto plum tree has second chance to grow


WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — A historic mirabelle plum tree from the Warsaw Ghetto has a chance to grow anew after being cut down in December.

Seedlings from the tree have grown thanks to a Polish couple who 12 years ago brought three seeds from the historic tree to the United States. The tree was cut down to clear the area for the construction of an apartment building.

A Polish-Jewish reporter, Hanna Krall, recalled the tree on Walowa Street in her book of memoirs from World War II. She wrote that next to the tree after the war lay beads that had been collected by local children. The beads had come from Jewish shops, which were closed down during the war. The tree survived the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto.

The cutting down of the tree was publicized in social media. Later it came to light that 12 years ago the couple, Alicja and Wojciech Fizyta, carried three seeds from the tree to the United States and planted them in the ground near their home in Washington, D.C. Now the couple will send a seedling to be planted back in Warsaw; Polish artist Patrycja Dolowy will carry the seed.

“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.”

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