Anne Frank drew hope from the white horse chestnut tree that grew outside the window of her Amsterdam home. “As long as it exists, how can I be sad?” wrote Frank, who later died in the Bergen Belsen concentration camp at age 15.
A three-foot sapling of the tree that stood outside Frank’s window was planted on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol yesterday, Religion News Service reports.
“May this tree grow to its full height, serene and bursting with life, planted in our nation’s capital,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., at yesterday’s ceremony, which was moved indoors due to rain.
“It will remind those who come to see it of the great blessing that we all have been granted to live and thrive in America — a country whose ideals repudiate the hatred and bigotry that prematurely cut down Anne Frank’s life.”
The sapling was grown from chestnuts harvested from the original tree, which fell during a storm in 2010. Other saplings from the tree have been planted at the Boston Common in Massachusetts, the Holocaust Memorial Center in Michigan, and the Southern Cayuga School District in New York.
Several Holocaust survivors attended the event as well as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who was instrumental in bringing the sapling to D.C.