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German Easter Blossoms

April 9, 2012

I just wanted to wish my readers Happy Easter!

This blog has absolutely nothing to do with security. Since I am German (in case you didn’t know that about me), I wanted to share some pretty over-the-top stuff that (in my mind) only Germans tend to come up with. Enjoy the post!

Every year, Saalfeld, a town in Eastern Germany, becomes a major tourist attraction because of a single apple tree, decorated just for Easter. Volker Kraft started to decorate this tree in 1965 with 18 coloured eggs. That number has grown to 9,800 by 2011!

The following is copied from Volker Kraft’s homepage. It is their own translation from German into English.

Eierbaum Saalfeld

“Eierbaum” is a German word for a tree that is decorated with eggs at the time of Easter.

History

In his childhood (around 1945) Volker Kraft saw a beautiful paschal decorated tree in his home town. So he wanted a tree just like this.

…and then in 1965, it happened. Volker Kraft was happily married and had children by now. And so he realized his dream of having his own Eierbaum. He decorated a small apple tree in his garden with 18 colourful Easter eggs for his children – and he was happy to see the same sparkle in their eyes as he had twenty years ago.

The first 18 Easter eggs were still made of plastic. But soon, Volker realized that the tree began to grow – fast.

So he needed more eggs. To buy all of them was too expensive at that time. So they blew out almost all eggs needed in the kitchen to bake cakes. These eggs were then equipped with a small listel and painted with all household colours available.

Kraft’s children grew and started to paint too. First simple patterns and multi-coloured eggs emerged. These eggs can still be found on the tree today, though time apparently aged them.

Over the years the tree was growing the number of eggs was increased.

The children of Volker and Christa Kraft went out of the house, and so the sapling, which became a real tree by now, could rest and recover.

But then the first grandchildren came and the Eierbaum decorated again. It was enormous, and every year people came from the neighbourhood to watch it.

Now family Kraft began counting the Easter eggs. The listel has been revised so that the eggs won’t fall as fast as they did before, if it is windy.

Christa Kraft started to crochet eggs in different colours and patterns. Far more than 1000 eggs have been croched by now (2008). 300 of them pearls.

Kraft’s daughter Gabriela Rumrich is the painter in the family, she drew artistic patterns with silver and gold. Later, the first landscape and city motifs emerged. For the trunk of the tree she painted ladybugs and cockchafer, made from blown-out eggs. Later, other animals such as mice, fish, turtles, pigs and frogs completed the series.

To decorate the Eierbaum initially took only one day. As the number of eggs increased, the time to decorate increased too. In 2002 we decorated the tree with two to five persons in one week. It does not take as long to “clear” the tree again.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, a rehap clinic was built nearby and with it the first “foreign” visitors came. They never saw something like this and one of them reported it to the local press. In that moment, our quiet garden idyll was gone. TV, Radio, newspapers. There were loads of people visiting us.

Year after year, the interest of the press, radio and television increased and pictures and film contributions went far beyond Germany. We had visitors from all over Germany, Luxembourg, Austria, Holland, England, China and the United States – only to name a few. Sometimes, whole coaches drove up.

Every now and then, strangers send newspapers to us, newspapers about the tree from their country or region. These originate from Holland, Africa, Thailand, Australia and Kuwait!

People in Saalfeld call Volker Kraft lovingly “egg-man”.

Many questions about the Eierbaum repeat year after year. Most of them, with many interesting stories and pictures, can be purchased since 2005 in form of a small book.

Volker probably never thought that his dream was going to what it is today. But it makes him and his family proud that so many people visit the Eierbaum year after year.

One final thought does come to mind. If this Eierbaum was decorated right here in Edmonton, would the family of Volker Kraft have to put up serveillance cameras for protection???

If you don’t have a security system or don’t have it monitored, call me for a free, no-obligation consultation. You will be glad you did!

Ulli Robson, Security Specialist, (780) 288-2986.

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