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Sapling from home of famed Holocaust victim to be planted at memorial

The sapling from the tree outside the Amsterdam home of Anne Frank has arrived at Sonoma State University, where it will be grown in quarantine for three years before it can be planted in the university's genocide memorial.

It is one of 20 brought into the United States that will be planted at 11 sites, said Yvonne Simons of the Anne Frank Center in New York.

"To have the entire sensibility of her person and what she saw and what she believed in sprouting throughout the world . . . I think it is a very powerful symbol," Simons said.

Sonoma State was the first U.S. site to receive the tree, which will be planted near the Erna and Arthur Salm Holocaust and Genocide Memorial Grove.

"Bill Clinton is getting one, the White House is getting one and little old Sonoma State is getting one," said Elaine Leeder, dean of the SSU School of Social Sciences. "We are in good company."

The memorial, completed last March, consists of 45 feet of railroad tracks leading to a 12-foot illuminated glass tower created by SSU associate professor Jann Nunn.

The memorial was named by Santa Rosa businessman David Salm, a major contributor, for his parents, who fled Germany for the United States.

It cost about $100,000 and is meant as a memorial for survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides, such as those against American Indians and in Armenia, Darfur, Rwanda and Cambodia.

The saplings are two to three feet tall and grown from the horse chestnut tree described in Frank's diary, which was published in 1947. It is one of the most well-read books in history and recounts the German occupation of the Netherlands and the persecution of the Jews.

The Frank family was found after two years in hiding, and Anne Frank died at age 15 in a concentration camp.


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