Boise's Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial is one of 11 American locations that will plant chestnut saplings from the tree that brought Anne Frank some solace as she hid from the Nazis in World War II Amsterdam.
"We are excited that we can now move forward with planting the saplings and launching a national education initiative called Confronting Intolerance Today: Lesson From Anne Frank. As the saplings take root, they will become living symbols of justice and tolerance in America for many years to come," said the Anne Frank Center USA Executive Director Yvonne Simons. "The participating organizations expressed a strong understanding of and a desire to combat the horrible consequences of intolerance, racism, hatred and discrimination that detroys countries, communities and innocents like Anne Frank."
The center received 34 applications for saplings.
The other sites chosen to recieve the trees include the White House, Liberty Park (former site of the World Trade Center), the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Ark.; Boston Common; schools in California and New York; and Holocaust centers in Washington and Michigan.
The tree was Frank’s connection to freedom and the outside world when she and her family were in hiding and she wrote about it frequently in her now famous diary, according to Anne Frank House online.
Frank spent two years hiding from Nazi invaders between July 1942 and August 1944 and she could see the tree from the attic where she hid.
Frank wrote in her diary:
“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.”
The tree was more than 170 years old when high winds toppled it, along with a metal support structure, in August 2010.
It was rotted through the center due to a fungus, but saplings have been planted elsewhere across the world.