The Anne Frank Sapling

The Sapling Story
Courtesy The Anne Frank Center

From her only window to the outside world, Anne Frank could see the sky, birds and a majestic chestnut tree. “As long as this exists”, Anne wrote in her diary, “how can I be sad?” During the two years she spent in the Secret Annex, the solace Anne found in her chestnut tree provided a powerful contrast to the Holocaust unfolding beyond her attic window. And as war narrowed in on Anne and her family, her tree became a vivid reminder that a better world was possible.

Anne’s tree would outlive its namesake by more than 50 years, before succumbing to disease and a windstorm in August 2010. But today, thanks to dozens of saplings propagated in the months before its death, Anne’s tree lives on in cities and towns around the world. Here in the United States, the Sapling Project is bringing eleven of these precious trees to specially selected locations across the country. As the saplings take root, they will emerge as living monuments to Anne’s pursuit of peace and tolerance. In the process, they will serve as powerful reminders of the horrors borne by hate and bigotry and the need for collective action in the face of injustice.

Southern Cayuga Central School District is home to the first school in the United States in which Anne’s tree sapling will take root. On Wednesday June 12, please join the Southern Cayuga High Schools in the planting of the Anne Frank Tree sapling. The ceremony will feature keynote speaker Marion Blumenthal Lazan, a Holocaust survivor who spent six years in Nazi concentration camps. It will be followed by musical performances by Southern Cayuga Central School District students.

When: Wednesday June 12, 2013 at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Southern Cayuga School District Auditorium
Address: 2384 New York 34B, Aurora, NY 13026
Phone:(315) 364-7111 
How to attend: Open to the public

My most sincere thanks to the Southern Cayuga School District for having given me the honor and privilege to speak at the planting of the Anne Frank Sapling. Often asked whether I had ever met Anne Frank, I reply that although Anne was in 2 of the same camps as was I, Camp Westerbork in Holland, and Camp Bergen-Belsen in Germany, her name did not become well known until after publication of her Diary. Besides, a 15 year old (Anne ) really hasn’t much to do with a 10 year old. I did read the original diary, Het Achterhuis in Dutch, subsequently titled The Diary of a Young Girl on our voyage over to America aboard the Holland American Liner, the Veendan, in 1948. So now I believe there is a poignant connection between this famous personality and me. 

I do hope to see many of my CNY friends at this auspicious event.