A Piece of Anne Frank Transplanted in Farmington Hills

Ann Frank

Farmington Hills now has a link to Anne Frank, the Jewish teen in the Netherlands, who became famous for writing "The Diary of a Young Girl" (aka "The Diary of Ann Frank) while in hiding from the Nazis during World War II.

The Detroit Jewish News reports that a sapling from a  large horse chestnut tree Frank saw from a window while in hiding  has been planted on the grounds of the Holocaust Memorial Center (HMC) Zekelman Family Campus in Farmington Hills. The tree is mentioned in several passages in Anne Frank's book.

The Jewish News notes that the Farmington Hills location is only one of  11 sites in the U.S. chosen to plant a sapling  from the tree by the New York-based Anne Frank Center USA, a non-sectarian, nonprofit educational organization.

The tree is being housed in the new Viola and Garry Kappy Anne Frank Tree Exhibit and Garden, which is named after the Kappys, Holocaust survivors who are the project's major funders. .A public dedication is set for Sept. 22.

"Everyone knows Anne Frank, from at least the sixth grade on, when kids read her diary in school,”  Stephen Goldman, HMC executive director, told the Jewish News.  “Having her tree grow here is really going to touch people.”

The Jewish News wrote:

The Anne Frank Sapling Project started as Anne’s chestnut tree was nearing the end of its nearly 180-year lifespan. Diseased and rotted through the trunk, the massive tree was a safety hazard, slated to come down in 2007. A last-minute reprieve in court and funds obtained for a steel frame kept the tree in place until high winds toppled it in August 2010.
Fortunately, before the tree’s demise, stewards at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam had the foresight to take grafts from the tree to create saplings. The plan was to offer new “Anne Frank” trees to worthy recipients around the world.  -- Allan Lengel

Read more:  The Jewish News

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