“For there is hope for the tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.” Job 14:7
Anne Frank gazed upon this tree during her time in hiding, and often wrote about it in her diary. The journey of eleven saplings from Amsterdam to eleven sites around the U.S.A., including the 9/11 Memorial, the White House Gardens, and the Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus in Farmington Hills, Michigan, began with a story published in the New York Times. These saplings originated from the nearly 200-year-old white chestnut tree that brought Anne Frank solace as she and her family hid from the Nazis in Amsterdam during World War 11. The Anne Frank Garden and permanent exhibit feature photographs and scrolling quotations from the diary, culminating in a challenge and call to action. The proposal for the Holocaust Memorial Center was co-submitted by alumni Gail Rosenbloom Kaplan (BFA 1976).
“From my favorite spot on the floor, I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver,” Frank wrote in 1944. “When I looked outside right into the depth of nature and God, then I was happy, really happy.” Watching the chestnut tree cycle through the seasons offered Anne hope that one day humanity also would have another chance.