Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Anne Frank’s Chestnut Tree

     Other than the Bible, it is said that the diary of Anne Frank is one of the most widely read works of non-fiction in history. Outside of the office building in Amsterdam where her family hid from the Nazis, a chestnut tree grew. Anne mentioned it in her diary on Feb. 23, 1944:

     "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, and at the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind. 'As long as this exists,' I thought, 'and I may live to see it, this sunshine, the cloudless skies, while this lasts I cannot be unhappy.'"
     The tree is, however, close to the end of its life. In order to preserve Anne’s memory, saplings grafted from the original chestnut tree have been awarded across the globe – eleven are coming to the United States. The nearest sapling to my home here in Nevada is now planted north of the San Francisco bay area at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California‎.

     Who would have thought at the time, that the diary of one bright young girl would forever change how we would see the consequences of World War II. One little chestnut sapling still grows to testify to what happens when people marginalize others, treating them as less than fully human… less than fully made in God’s image.

     You may read the full story here: The San Francisco Chronicle – “Anne Frank's spirit lives on in chestnut tree”.


  1. Oh Sonoma State! Got my B.A. there.... how wonderful!

  2.      What a happy coincidence, Margaret! Maybe sometime you'll get a chance to visit it. I love how they're preserving Anne's memory by sharing life! It seems a good way to light a candle against the darkness.


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