This tree gave Anne Frank so much pleasure when she was in hiding.
Just before it was about to die, seeds from the Anne Frank tree in Amsterdam were collected and germinated so that the tree that she loved so much could live on. In her diary, now a book, The Diary of Anne Frank, Frank recounts her time in hiding from the Nazis. And although she didn’t survive the Death Camps, her father released her diary to the world. In it she mentions the white horse chestnut tree, in the garden of her secret annex hideout. This tree that gave her so much joy will be part of a new memorial in Israel.
Anne Frank’s tree collapsed in 2010, even after reinforcements, but tomorrow a tree it its likeness will be unveiled for Holocaust Memorial Day. The three dunam pathway will include signs and passages from Frank’s diary, and at the end of the path, visitors will be able to explore a replica of the annex where Frank once hid. The memorial symbolizes Frank’s love for nature.
The Dutch Jewish girl looked up at the tree and the sky in the brief moments when she was allowed during the tree while hiding from Nazis during the Second World War. In one entry dated Feb 23, 1944, she wrote:
“The two of us looked out at the blue sky, the bare chestnut tree glistening with dew, the seagulls and other birds glinting with silver as they swooped through the air.”
“We were so moved and entranced that we couldn’t speak.”
Among the guests at the unveiling tomorrow will be the Dutch Ambassador to Israel, a board member from the Anne Frank Foundation in Basel, and members from the Jewish National Fund. The ceremony will take place in the Martyr’s Forest.
Image via AP