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THE FRIENDSHIP TREES OF EUROPE
 
Paul Harris' trip to Europe in 1932 was unusual in that his wife, Jean, did not go with him as she had on most of their "Friendship" trips. Paul Harris planted the first European tree in Berlin

The entire 
"Report of the 1932 trip to Europe of Paul P. Harris" is online
Black and white photograph captioned "Stockholm, August 25th, 1932” with the inscription:   "Alexanderson, Pane Berryholen, Paul Harris".  On August 25 Paul Harris planted this tree in Stockholm en route between Finland and Norway. "Alexanderson" may be the influential Swedish lawyer and politician Nils Alexanderson (1875-1960), who probably was a member of the Rotary Club of Stockholm. It is also suggested that Pane Berryholen came from the US Embassy in Stockholm. Help is needed in confirming this.
   
 
Berlin, Germany 1932 In 1932 Paul Harris planted his first European Friendship Tree (Maple) on the Tempelhofer Feld in Berlin, which has been and still is an airport. After his visit, the Rotary Club of Berlin put a memory stone beside the tree with the inscription: “Paul Harris Baum 17 August 1932” along with the Rotary wheel. In his address he talked of the ties between Germany and America and that two of the first members of Rotary were of German decendence. Berlin Planting Paul Harris, far right, with shovel. Photo from: "Memorandum for Rotary in Germany between the two world wars" by Rotarian Günter Graumann, Rotary Club Hameln, Germany, editors CW Niemeyer. Ziegler The tree withers In 1937 Rotary Clubs were dissolved by the Nationalsocialists. As the stone would have been eventually destroyed, his sculptor removed it under cover of night and put it in his garden in Berlin Dahlem. The original Friendship Tree of Paul Harris was probably destroyed during the war.

In the eighties Rotarian Dr. Jakob Kehren discovered the stone and tried to persuade the sculptor to give it back to Rotary. However, the “owner” kept the stone until his death.

 
Berlin Tree Replanted 1985 On the occasion of his visit in Berlin on April 111985, the president of Rotary International, Dr. Carlos Canseco planted a Gingko tree. The tree was donated by the Rotary Club of Eutin and planted next to the main entrance of the Hotel Intercontinental in memory of the lost tree of Paul Harris. Dedicated Canseco received the Grand Cross of the Order of National Merit. This event was covered by an article in “Der Rotarier” in the May issue 1985 A New Club Is Born After the death of the sculptor his heirs gave the stone back to Rotary. Finally on November 6, 1986, on the occasion of the charter of the Rotary Club Berlin-Spree
 
The Stone is Returned The stone was placed next to the tree on the entrance of the Intercontinental [stone with Kehren (right side, grey hair), who is deceased]. Tallinn, Estonia 1932 Paul Harris and members of the Rotary Club of Tallinn at a tree planting. Used in the November 1932 and April 1940 issues of The Rotarian. History of Tallinn Gothenburg, Sweden 1932 August Brautigam, Albin Zetterberg, Bengt Kjerrman, Axel Ros, and Torild Hammar visiting a tree planted in Gothenburg by Paul Harris in 1932. Photo sent by Ernst Breitholtz, April 1980.

Photo Dated 1957. Permission from Torild Hammer in 2002.

 
Gothenburg 2002 Gothenburg Rotary Club District, 2360, Sweden. This picture was taken January 25, 2002 in Gothenburg in front of the Paul Harris tree planted in 1932. From left to right, PRID Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar, Peter Cassirer, president of Gothenburg RC and Torild Hammar. Photo by Akke Zimdal, Member of Gothenburg RC Film of Paul Harris at Gothenburg 1932 Paul Harris visited Gothenburg, Sweden on 29 August 1932 for the clubs luncheon at Tradgardsforening. The Tree of Friendship was planted in a park north of the restaurant in an area referred to as the "perennial field."

Film courtesy of Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar, RI president 2005-2006. Production by Hasselblads Fotografiska Aktiebolag. Editing and digitizing by Dan Dean, RC Burlington, D5470, Colorado USA

 
 
Helsinki Finland on October 8 .2005. The tree is a "Betula alba" or Birch.
It was planted on the same place where Paul P; Harris planted a similar tree on August 22. 1932 on his visit to Helsinki Finland. The planting was done by William B. Boyd the RI President for 2006-2007 and he was helped by Frank J. Devlyn TRF Trustee Chair 2005-2006, RIGS Edwin Futa, RI Director Jose Antonio  Salazar. The original tree fell in a storm in the autumn of 2004 but has now been restored.

See Paul Harris' comments at Helsingfors, Finland

Paul Harris, planting a tree in Helsinki, Finland, August 22, 1932, during this European trip.

Photo courtesy of PDG Jaakko Castrén of D-1420 in Finland.

The tree was destroyed by a storm in 2004.

September, 1932, Bergen, Norway

Tree was planted on property of Bergen Club president Amundsen. According  James P. Walsh, "The First Rotarian" page 153, "This city appears to be the first one in which Harris initiated the tradition of planting trees of friendship in all countries he visited." Harris, though, wrote that the first tree was in Berlin. RGHF Historian Basil Lewis

 

September 14, 1932, Bergen, Norway

Harris planting the Bergen tree.  Standing l. to r.: Paul Harris, the gardener, past president Visted, President (later governor) Amundsen, past president Brinkman. RGHF Historian Basil Lewis

September, 1932, Bergen, Norway

Harris speaking on international goodwill after planting a tree near Bergen, in Norway. From l. to r.: Secretary Eide, Treasurer Tornoe, governor elect Amundsen, past president Visted, president Irminger, past president Brinkmann.

RGHF Historian Basil Lewis

2009/10 Friendship Trees Planted by RGHF member and RIBI President David Fowler
Fowler

 

INDEX OF HISTORY LIBRARY RGHF HOME Friendship Trees Index History Calendar
PEACE MONUMENTS BACKGROUND FIRST TREE VALPARAISO CONFLICT  
AFRICA ASIA AUSTRALIA EUROPE NORTH AMERICA LATIN AMERICA

SEE

THE CLUBS--> AFRICA ASIA AUSTRALIA EUROPE NORTH AMERICA
CENTRAL AMERICA SOUTH AMERICA NEW ZEALAND   INFO NEEDED - MISSING CONTACT TREES
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