Offspring of Actual Tree From Anne Frank’s Hiding Place Will Be Planted at the Capitol

A sapling from the chestnut tree described in Frank’s diary is one of 11 in the United States.

Another one of the saplings taking from the chestnut tree that Anne Frank wrote about in her diary was planted at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. Here, the memorial's chairman Avner Shalev helps to plant the sapling on March 26, 2012.
National Journal
Sarah Mimms
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Sarah Mimms
April 9, 2014, 8:58 a.m.

The Cap­it­ol will soon be home to the off­spring of the very chest­nut tree that grew out­side of the secret an­nex where Anne Frank and her fam­ily were sheltered dur­ing World War II.

Mem­bers of Con­gress will gath­er at the end of the month to plant the sap­ling, one of about 100 that were cut from the ori­gin­al tree in Am­s­ter­dam when it col­lapsed dur­ing a wind­storm in 2010. The sap­lings have since been sent all over the world, where they are be­ing planted in memory of the Holo­caust.

Frank ac­tu­ally wrote about the tree in her di­ary on three oc­ca­sions. “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, and we were so moved and en­tranced that we couldn’t speak,” she wrote, of look­ing out the win­dow with Peter van Pels in Feb­ru­ary, 1944.

The United States’ 11 sap­lings have been un­der quar­ant­ine since 2010 to en­sure that they are healthy enough for plant­ing, while sites all over the coun­try have com­peted to house the young trees. Five were planted last year at the Chil­dren’s Mu­seum of In­di­ana­pol­is, Sonoma State Uni­versity in Cali­for­nia, South­ern Cay­uga School Dis­trict in New York, Bo­ston Com­mon, and the Holo­caust Me­mori­al Cen­ter in Michigan.

This year, the Cap­it­ol and the Clin­ton Pres­id­en­tial Cen­ter in Little Rock, Ark., will each re­ceive a tree as well. The re­main­ing four will be planted at the Wash­ing­ton State Holo­caust Edu­ca­tion Re­source Cen­ter in Seattle, Little Rock Cent­ral High School in Arkan­sas, the Idaho Hu­man Rights Edu­ca­tion Cen­ter, and at the 9/11 me­mori­al in New York City in the near fu­ture.

“We were really look­ing for sap­ling sites that matched our mis­sion,” Re­becca Faulkner of the Anne Frank Cen­ter USA said Wed­nes­day. “These 11 sites were rep­res­ent­at­ive of the en­tire United States.”

The plant­ing ce­re­mony at the West Front Lawn of the Cap­it­ol, which is loc­ated on the Sen­ate side of the build­ing, is sched­uled for April 30. All four mem­bers of con­gres­sion­al lead­er­ship are slated to at­tend.

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