Anne Frank Tree Dedication

The Holocaust Center was represented at a ceremony to dedicate an Anne Frank tree at St Brendan Catholic School in Ormond Beach. Language Arts teacher William Reynolds, a graduate of the Holocaust Center’s Teachers Institute, introduced his eighth grade classes to writings of Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel. The students were moved by the stories of the impact of the Holocaust on children; this led to a decision by the Junior National Honor Society to fundraise and purchase an Anne Frank Tree to plant on the school’s grounds.

The dedication of the tree, held December 3, featured comments and prayers led by Father John Ryan, Father James Queen, and Rabbi Barry Altman of Temple Beth El.

While in hiding with her family, Anne Frank was able to see a tree outside the window of the small attic her family shared with four other people from July 1942 to August 1944. Several times she wrote about the tree in her diary, and often sat on the small space of floor where she could see the tree branches against sky. According to her father, that brief glimpse of nature provided about the only consolation and joy the young diarist had.

In spite of extraordinary efforts to save it over the past few decades, the tree – a chestnut tree thought to be at least 150 years old – toppled in a storm in August 2010. New trees, particularly the rare saplings from the original tree, are now being planted in remembrance worldwide.

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The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida · 851 N Maitland Ave · Maitland, FL 32751 · Phone: 407-628-0555 ·