The Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was a territory in Northern Germany which was a sovereign state until 1918. The current Head of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz is His Highness Borwin, Duke of Mecklenburg. The House honours philosophical ideas based on the constant search for peace.
International Tree of Peace (Slovak: Strom pokoja, German: Der Friedensbaum, French: L’Arbre de la Paix) is an international and global initiative that originated in Slovakia in the European Union. The project, created on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I, was initiated by Slovak landscape architect Marek Sobola from Žilina. The main content of the project is to support the message of peace by planting memorial trees on all continents. Planting trees around the world creates an international network of friendships on the basis of which the World Map of Peace is being built. In its very beginning, the project was associated with World War I, which also had a great impact on Sobola’s family. His great-grandfather Ondrej Sobola (Andreas/András Szobola) died on the Russian battlefield in an unknown place. The story of the author’s family inspired him to create a living monument, which on the one hand reminds us of senseless military conflicts, but on the other hand represents growth, prosperity and respect for our roots and history.
This universal message that unites nations, is now no longer associated only with World War I, but more generally with the need for peace and the avoidance of global military conflicts. His main tool is the tree, a living organism that represents growth, prosperity and nature. Planting trees points to global environmental problems and strengthens the solidarity of humanity in an effort to respect nature and its resources. In this way, the initiative becomes universal and its implementation is possible in all countries of the world. By planting trees, we also want to point out the senseless plundering of nature in all its spheres – on land, in the oceans or air pollution. All actions contrary to understanding between nations and abuse of natural resources lead to great sacrifices. The official logo of the initiative consists of a dove – a general symbol of peace, which is associated with a tree – the main tool of the project. The project is implemented as a voluntary and community service by Servare et Manere, Slovak non-governmental and nonprofit association. The Tree of Peace is a grassroots movement and this project is a collective activity which fulfills its mission on national and international level. All members of the board perform all their activities for the Servare et Manere pro bono. As an organization with Special Consultative Status within the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (UN ECOSOC), Servare et Manere will also contribute to the fulfillment of the sustainable development goals of Agenda 2030 in the Slovak Republic and in the partner countries of the international initiative Tree of Peace.
The Tree of Peace is a European, international and strictly apolitical project. Its main idea is a message of peace and understanding through the motto: “Let’s make love the lifeblood of this world”.
TREES OF PEACE
Ondrej Sobola, Andreas/András Szobola (*August 7, 1880 Lalinok, Austro-Hungarian Empire – † December 31, 1918 official date) was a soldier of Austro-Hungarian Army (German: Landstreitkräfte Österreich-Ungarns; Hungarian: Császári és Királyi Hadsereg). His death, in an unknown place during the First World War, inspired the Tree of Peace project. Ondrej was born in Lalinok into a farming family and the Sobola family have lived in Lalinok since the beginning of the 16th century. Ondrej Sobola was married to Jozefína Rapšíková in July 31, 1900 in Dlhé Pole and was taken into the army in 1901. Ondrej and his older brother Štefan travelled to the United States in around 1906 and their place of residence was the borough Clifton Heights in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Ondrej returned to Lalinok between 1907 – 1910 and went back to the United States on November 30, 1910. Because of his stay in Pennsylvania he did not take part in the military manoeuvres in 1912. He definitely returned to Lalinok before 1914 and after the outbreak of the First World War he was enlisted in the 15th Military Infantry Regiment (Hungarian: 15. Népfelkelő gyalogezred ütközetei). Ondrej Sobola was missing from about 1915 on the Russian battlefield. In Czechoslovakia, he was officially pronounced dead in 1930, with the official date of death: December 31, 1918. Ondrej’s name was written on a Memorial dedicated to WWI victims from Lalinok village in the local cemetery on November 11, 2018. His portrait made by sculptor Michal Janiga based on the only preserved photo is also incorporated on the Memorial. You can also find Ondrej’s name on a Memorial pillar in the Emperor’s park of Kaiservilla in Bad Ischl.