Sonoma State U. to get Anne Frank tree sapling

October 19, 2009 1:10:39 PM PDT
Sonoma State University's Rohnert Park campus will soon house a horse chestnut tree sapling taken from the tree outside Anne Frank's infamous Secret Annex in Amsterdam, where the Frank family hid from the Nazis during World War II.

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The university is one of 11 sites nationwide that was chosen by the Anne Frank Center USA to receive saplings from the 150-year-old tree, according to center. The original tree is battling a lethal fungus.

Anne Frank was a Jewish girl living in Amsterdam when World War II broke out in a Europe. She and her family went into hiding in an annex above her father's office building in 1942, but they were betrayed by an anonymous informant in 1944 and deported to various concentration camps.

Frank died of typhus at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany in March of 1945 at age 15. She kept a diary throughout her hiding and wrote that the chestnut tree outside her window was a great source of comfort to her during her time in the Secret Annex.

SSU's sapling will be planted at the foot of the Erna and Arthur Salm Holocaust and Genocide Memorial Grove and will be accompanied by words from Anne Frank's diary: "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."

SSU discovered on Thursday that it had been chosen as one of 11 sites to receive the saplings, according to the university. Other saplings will be sent to the White House, the Holocaust Memorial Center and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

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