Gausdal/Aulestad, Norway, May 25, 2022. Today, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Oslo, we planted the 22nd Tree of Peace on Aulestad Farm, known as the former residence of Karoline and Bjørnstjern Bjørnson. Nobel laureate Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson lived here with his family from 1875 until his death in 1910. Today, the residence is a museum of the life and work of Bjørnstjern Bjørnson, and is a part of the Lillehammer Museum (Stiftelsen Lillehammer museum).
Bjørnstjerne Martinius Bjørnson (1832 – 1910) was a Norwegian novelist, playwright, poet, publicist and Nobel Prize winner for literature in 1903. He was a fighter for Norway’s national independence, for the freedom of small and oppressed nations and a supporter of Slovaks during the peak Magyarization in Hungary. Bjørnson’s speeches had a great international and domestic response, which helped break the barriers to the international isolation of the Slovak question. And precisely for this reason, thanks to the initiative of His Excellency Mr. Roman Bužek, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Republic to Norway and Iceland, a tree was planted in the area of the Aulestad Farm, which was imported directly from Slovakia. After consultation with local authorities, a Norway maple (Acer platanoides) was chosen as the most suitable species for these climatic conditions. The tree was grown under the Western Tatras.
The Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Oslo and the Lillehammer Museum were partners with the ceremonial planting of the Tree of Peace in Norway. In addition to Marek Sobola, Secretary-General of Servare et Manere, Mr. Martin Žilinek, Deputy Head of the Mission of the Slovak Embassy, Mr. Audun Eckhoff, Director of the Lillehammer Museum and Ms. Marit Barkbu Bjørnson, great-granddaughter of Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, attended the ceremonial planting. Other special guests included Ms. Anette Musdalslien, Mayor of Gausdal (Gausdal kommune), Dr. Štefan Žídek, Chancellor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Žilina Diocese, which was also represented by Mr. Juraj Malobický. Very nice guests were also students of the local high school, who, together with other Museum staff, also took part in this important planting of the northernmost Tree of Peace so far.
After the speeches and the planting of the tree, the Slovak Embassy prepared a small reception for the guests and provided a short tour of the Museum for the Slovak delegation.
I dag ble det plantet et fredstre på Aulestad. Treet kom med fly fra Slovakia i går, sammen med initiativtakeren bak prosjektet Tree of peace, Marek Sobola. 21 slike trær er plantet rundt om i verden til nå, og det 22. skal få vokse seg stort i Gausdal. Den slovakiske vise ambassadøren sa i talen sin at Aulestad var et åpenbart sted å plante dette treet. Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson hadde et stort engasjement for Slovakia og slovakenes rett til blant annet å bruke sitt eget språk.