LiTREEture 3: Anne Frank’s Chestnut Tree
Welcome to Day 3 of LiTREEture here on DDOA! Today we remember Anne Frank and her Chestnut tree.
Who is Anne?
from The Anne Frank Centre USA“Born on June 12, 1929, Anne Frank was a German-Jewish teenager who was forced to go into hiding during the Holocaust. She and her family, along with four others, spent over two years during World War II hiding in an annex of rooms above her father’s office in Amsterdam.
Since it was first published in 1947, Anne Frank’s diary has become one of the most powerful memoirs of the Holocaust. Its message of courage and hope in the face of adversity has reached millions. The diary has been translated into 70 languages with over 30 million copies sold. Anne Frank’s story is especially meaningful to young people today. For many she is their first, if not their only exposure to the history of the Holocaust.
After being betrayed to the Nazis, Anne, her family, and the others living with them were arrested and deported to Nazi concentration camps. In March of 1945, nine months after she was arrested, Anne Frank died of typhus at Bergen-Belsen. She was fifteen years old.”
Her bravery and ideals live on, however, and she is frequently cited as a model for today as mentioned in this article..Girls Rising: From Anne Frank to Malala Yousafzai
Watch this video of Otto Frank, Anne’s father
What about Anne & Her Beloved Chestnut Tree?
“The Jewish teenager referred several times to the tree in the diary that she kept during the 25 months she remained in hiding.
“Nearly every morning I go to the attic to blow the stuffy air out of my lungs,”(S) Anne Frank wrote on 23 February 1944: “From my favourite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind.” She died, aged 15, the following year in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.” Info from BBC
Here are two more excerpts mentioning the same chestnut tree-from her famous diary (the diary that the world knows as “The Diary of a Young Girl”):
“April is glorious, not too hot and not too cold, with occasional light showers. Our chestnut tree is in leaf, and here and there you can already see a few small blossoms.” -Anne Frank, April 18, 1944
“Our chestnut tree is in full bloom. It’s covered with leaves and is even more beautiful than last year.”-Anne Frank, May 13, 1944
|View of the Chestnut tree from Anne’s window while in hiding
Otto Frank’s Remarks:
Otto Frank, Anne’s father, described his thoughts upon reading the diary for the first time in a 1968 speech. He described his surprise at learning of the tree’s importance to Anne as follows:
“How could I have suspected that it meant so much to Anne to see a patch of blue sky, to observe the gulls during their flight and how important the chestnut tree was to her, as I recall that she never took an interest in nature. But she longed for it during that time when she felt like a caged bird. She only found consolation in thinking about nature. But she had kept such feelings completely to herself.” (from Wikipedia)
Watch this CNN feature “Anne Frank & The Chestnut Tree”(2009)
Anne Frank’s Tree of Hope Toppled by Storm on BBC News (2010)
The SAPLING PRJECT
of the Anne Frank Centre USA
“As Anne wrote about her own hopes and dreamed of a better future, she often looked out upon a large horse-chestnut tree in the garden behind the Secret Annex. For her, the tree symbolized freedom as well as nature, which she longed to enjoy once again. Sadly, the aging chestnut tree behind the Secret Annex collapsed from disease in August 2010. The tree was estimated to be between 150 and 170 years old. However, in the few years before the tree’s demise, the stewards at the Anne Frank House wisely created saplings that have since been distributed to numerous locations around the world.
The Anne Frank Center USA received 11 of the saplings to donate to worthy educational organizations across the US.As Americans, we sometimes think of the horrors of the Holocaust as events that only happen in far off places and not on our own shores. But the United States has its own questions on human rights, as evidenced by treatment of Native Americans, slavery and segregation and by the ongoing struggle for full civil rights for women and people of color. These chapters in our shared history become the stories from which today’s generation can learn to fight intolerance in all forms, to identify prejudice, stereotyping, polarization and to advocate for a world based on mutual respect.
Following a three-year safeguard quarantine, the saplings were cleared for planting in January 2013. They have been delivered to their new homes across the nation and plantings have already begun! For the most updated information on planting ceremonies, public events and online speaker forums please visit the Sapling Project website.”
The following organizations are the recipients of Anne Frank Tree saplings. Info Source
- The White House– Washington, D.C.
- The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis– Indiana
- Sonoma State University– California
- Southern Cayuga School District– New York
- Washington State Holocaust Resource Center Washington– Washington
- Boston Common– Massachusetts
- Central High School– Arkansas
- Holocaust Memorial Center– Michigan
- Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial– Idaho
- William J. Clinton Presidential Center– Arkansas
- Liberty Park, Commemorating 9/11- New York City
Read this article “Sapling From Anne Frank’s Chestnut Tree Soon To Come To 9/11 Memorial” on CBS, New York
“No Time to Blossom”
by North-London artist Cindy Lass
“I have painted this iconic tree in all its beauty, in the hope that all the children of the world can one day be allowed to blossom. I hope the painting keeps alive the images of a tree which gave a glimpse of nature to Anne during her childhood imprisonment and will continue to challenge prejudice, reduce hatred and raise awareness of what Anne, her family and six million others went through, encouraging the he future generation to think about how they treat other people.”
Read more about “No Time to Blossom”