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Sapling planting at SSU in honor of Anne Frank

A public ceremony on Sunday is to mark the planting at Sonoma State University of a sapling taken from the tree that Anne Frank drew hope from while she and her family hid from the Nazis.

SSU was chosen as one of 11 sites in the nation to receive an offshoot of the chestnut tree in Amsterdam that provided Frank and her family a glimpse of the passing seasons.

The teenager and her family eventually were betrayed and all but her father died in German concentration camps. Her diary about their life in hiding became required reading — it has been translated into 67 languages — and remains a beloved account of an ordinary girl's experience of a terrible time.

The original chestnut tree died in 2010 but the saplings taken from it are seen as a way to preserve Frank's legacy. They have been quarantined for three years to ensure their safety and health.

SSU was chosen in part to receive one because of the focus the school has placed on genocide, including through its Center for the Study of the Holocaust and its Erna and Arthur Salm Holocaust and Genocide Memorial Grove which extends its references to Rwanda, Darfur, Cambodia and Armenia.

The ceremony is set for 1 p.m. at the Erna and Arthur Salm Holocaust and Genocide Memorial Grove. Speakers are to include Hans Angress, a classmate of Frank's. A reception follows at 2 p.m.

More information about the sapling project is at www.AnneFrank.com. For more details about the planting, call Elaine Leeder, Dean of the School of Social Sciences, at 664-2120.


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