Planting of Anne Frank Sapling at SSU Opens to Public
Ceremony Scheduled for Sunday, April 14
The courage and inspiration of Anne Frank will be honored in mid-April as SSU plans to plant the sapling taken from the mother chestnut tree that often gave Frank hope as she hid from the Nazis in World War II.
SSU is one of only 11 recipients of the Anne Frank tree saplings in the United States. They will be planted in sites across the country beginning this year.
The planting ceremony at Sonoma State University is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 14 at the Erna and Arthur Salm Holocaust & Genocide Memorial Grove near the campus lakes.
A reception follows in the Commons at 2 p.m. Tours of the Grove where the sapling is planted will be offered beginning April 22.
The ceremony will also honor Helena Foster, a Holocaust survivor who has donated a circle of 18 trees to be planted near the sapling.
"The addition of the Anne Frank tree will solidify the SSU campus as a major center on the West Coast for the study of the Holocaust and genocide," says Leeder.
"It will eventually provide a vast canopy under which the University Holocaust Lecture Series and the academic and educational programs throughout Northern California will continue for generations."
Ard van der Vorst, Deputy Consul General of the Netherlands, is the keynote speaker of the day.
Other speakers include:
Hilary Eddy Stipelman, The Anne Frank Center, USA
Dr. Ruben Arminana, SSU president
Dr. Elaine Leeder, Dean of the School of Social Sciences
Hans Angress, a classmate of Anne Frank
David Salm, co-founder of the Erna and Arthur Salm Holocaust & Genocide Memorial Grove
Jann Nunn, SSU sculpture professor
Myrna Goodman, Director of the Holocaust and Genocide Center and Lecture Series
Christopher Dinno, Senior Director of Capital Planning, Design and Construction
For almost three years, SSU has nurtured the quarantined sapling that arrived from the Netherlands in late 2009. It has been growing in a special shade house supervised by Sam Youney, SSU Director of Landscape Services, an expert in plant diseases and pest control.
The sapling is being planted in a grove that features a ten-foot tall light tower sculpture created by Professor Jann Nunn. Railroad tracks, symbolic of the Nazi deportations, radiate from the tower. Engraved in the glass tower’s base are the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Bricks laid between the rails are inscribed with names and places of those who endured the horrors of genocide including Native American, Armenian, Cambodia, Rwanda and Darfur. Signage near the tree will carry the words written by Frank in her diary: "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
Why was SSU chosen? Yvonne Simons of The Anne Frank Center, USA told SSU that:
"The panel felt that your site 'connected all the dots' by writing an inspiring proposal, drawing all aspects of tolerance together. Your Center for the study of the Holocaust, created by Dr. John Steiner (Dachau and Auschwitz survivor), your membership including Hans Angress, a Berlin Jew who attended school with Anne Frank, and your inclusion of educational programs on other genocides in the world. We particularly like the concept that the sapling would be placed near the Martin Luther King sculpture - and the fact that both were born in 1929, both slain by ignorance and hatred - both lives committed to contribute to human dialogue.”
More details and photos about the Grove can be found at http://www.sonoma.edu/holocaust/grove/.