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Hollow of 650-Year-Old Tree Used as a Hideout by Two Jewish Brothers During World War II

The hollow trunk of this 650-year-old oak tree was used as a hideout by two Jewish brothers during World War II.

In Wisniowa, Poland, there is an English oak tree that is 650 years old called the “Oak Jozef.” The tree has been a symbol of pride for the country of Poland for quite some time now. In 1934, its image appeared on the 100-Zloty bill — and this was before the famous story of two Jewish brothers hiding in its trunk during WWII happened.

The tree has a hollow point at the base and in its upper area. The lower hollow was used by the brothers for shelter and sleeping while they used the upper hollow as a lookout point. The brothers had apparently escaped from a nearby Nazi labor camp or from Nazi-established ghetto. After their escape, a Polish individual, who aided Jews at the time, told them they could hide inside the big oak tree. This they did and it ended up saving their lives. No one knows what happened to the brothers after the war.

Just this year, the Oak Jozef was declared as the “European Tree of the Year” because of its age and historical significance. The tree remains on the land next to a mansion that is owned by a noble Polish family, the Mycielskis. The tree has become a tourist attraction for locals and foreigners.

H/T AtlasObscura

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