KZ 3 Apples


It was 80 years ago today that Hitler assumed power in Germany, and there are war documentaries all over the television airwaves. Actually one can almost always find a war documentary somewhere on tv, but they tend to cluster more thickly around the anniversaries. Anyway, I was watching an interesting one about the death marches from Dachau southward along the Starnberger See (they got as far as Seeshaupt, where they met American troops and the guards took off in a hurry). In one part of it, two sweet older women were talking about the decision to have a monument. One explained that she was looking for something other than a plaque or a stone, and remembered that there was a type of apple tree which had been bred in the Dachau Konzentrationslager (KZ), called KZ 3 (g). The man who had planted them, Korbinian Aigner, was a Bavarian priest who had been interned there, and who had been on those very forced marches and survived (the fruit is now officially named the Korbiniansapfel). A living memorial tree, the woman realized, would be a perfect kind of memorial to life.

Apparently they are very robust fruit trees. I wonder if they would take well to a large container. If so I may try to grow one myself.

Above, water color by Korbinian Aigner, around 1955. Image found here (g).

2 thoughts on “KZ 3 Apples

  1. One of the first things my son’s Austrian girlfriend brought up was the concentration camps. She has been exposed to the films, the school trips to the camps, the whole shebang. Her family was curious to know how my son felt and was (I think) grateful he was firm that that was in the past and that every country has their ‘Nazis’.
    As a pre-teen I went naively to ‘Judgement at Nuremberg’ and it had a lasting impact on me. Amazing that there are some who haven’t learned from that horrible experience and think it needs repeating….


  2. Your son’s girlfriend grew up far enough away from the events to be schooled in them, it seems. The generations that survived the war felt the need to get on with their lives (as most people do); their children were the ’68 protesters who demonstrated — not only about Vietnam and the Cold War, but about their parents’ silence. She would be a child of that generation.


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