World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

The Three Linden Trees

Article Id: WHEBN0001423715
Reproduction Date:

Title: The Three Linden Trees  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: La Settimana Enigmistica, Welter (publication), The Complete Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse, One Hour After Midnight, Gertrud (novel)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

The Three Linden Trees

"The Three Linden Trees" (German: "Drei Linden") is a 1912 fairy tale by Hermann Hesse strongly influenced by the Greek legend of Damon and Pythias. The story, set in the medieval period, tries to explain three huge linden trees whose branches intertwine to cover the entire cemetery of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit in Berlin.

According to the story, three brothers care very deeply for each other. One day, the youngest brother comes across a blacksmith's apprentice who has just been stabbed to death. While he decides whether to tell the authorities or to flee the scene of the crime, the city constables find him and arrest him for the murder. At his trial, facts come out that link him to the victim, and it appears that he will be hanged, despite all his protests that he is innocent.

Just then, the middle brother, who has been waiting for his younger brother to return home, hears what has happened. Not wanting to see his brother executed, he appears in court and accuses himself of the murder. He is locked up while the judge tries to determine who the real murderer is. Shortly after, the eldest brother returns home from his travels and, learning what happened to his two younger brother, accuses himself of the crime. He too is arrested. When the youngest brother unwittingly discovers what his two brothers have done on his behalf, he tearfully admits to the judge that he is the murderer.

Not knowing who to blame, the judge turns to the local prince. He does not believe that any of the brothers is guilty, but realizes that it is too important a decision to leave to chance. To resolve the problem, he announces that he will leave it up to God and comes up with an ordeal. Each of the brothers will plant a linden tree with its crown in the ground and its roots in the sky. Whoever's tree withered first would be considered the murderer.

The unexpected happened and all three trees began to grow and flourish. All three brothers were innocent, so all three trees thrive. These are the trees overhanging the cemetery outside the Hospital of the Holy Spirit.

The story was written in German and originally published in Die Alpen in 1912.

The story can be found in The Complete Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse.

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.