A sapling grown from the famous Anne Frank chestnut tree in Amsterdam will be planted in Canada.
Montreal is the sole Canadian location that will get a sapling from the tree’s cuttings, the Canadian Press reported.
The tree, which cheered the teenage diarist as she gazed out her attic window, made headlines last month when it toppled over during a heavy storm after being weakened by a fungus and insect infestation.
The planting ceremony is scheduled to take place Monday afternoon at the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre.
The other 11 saplings being sent to North America are going to the United States, according to the Canadian Press.
In her storied diary, Frank described going to her family’s attic hideaway almost every morning to stare at the tree, and the little raindrops on its branches, knowing she could find some happiness looking out at the sky.
The tree was in the news as well in 2007 when Amsterdam officials, citing safety issues, ordered it cut down. Supporters who saw the tree as a symbol of freedom protested and it was granted a reprieve.
Auschwitz Museum Won’t Let Irving Lead Tour
The Auschwitz museum will not allow Holocaust denier David Irving to give a tour at the site of the former concentration camp.
Irving, a British historian, cannot lead a tour group at Auschwitz because he is not a licensed tour guide, officials of Poland’s Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum told the German Press Agency DPA.
Irving arrived in Poland this week to lead a tour of British and American tourists to important Nazi sites, including Hitler’s headquarters and the Treblinka death camp, as well as the Warsaw Ghetto and Auschwitz.
In an interview earlier this month with the British Daily Mail, Irving criticized Polish authorities for turning Auschwitz into a “money-making machine,” and accused them of building fake watchtowers. He said other death camps have been neglected because they are not as “marketable” and “don’t have a Holiday Inn down the road.”
Irving was jailed for Holocaust denial in Austria in 2006 for a 1989 speech in which he said there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz.
Merkel Cited for Commitment to Jews, Israel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, honored for her commitment to Jewish life in Germany, vowed to keep up the fight against anti-Semitism.
In ceremonies Sept. 21, Bernhard Blum, the president of the New York-based Leo-Baeck Institute, presented the institute’s annual award to Merkel for her commitment to Israel and Jews around the world.
Merkel is the first German chancellor to receive the Leo Baeck Medal, named for the liberal German rabbi who presciently warned—after the Nazis took power in 1933—that “the thousand-year history of German Jews [had] come to an end.” Baeck narrowly escaped death at the Theresienstadt concentration camp.
Jewish life in Germany is blossoming today thanks to the arrival of some 175,000 Jews from the former Soviet Union since 1990. In all, there are about 200,000 Jews here now, only half of whom are affiliated with congregations.
Michael Blumenthal, director of Berlin’s 9-year-old Jewish Museum, praised Merkel for her dedication to Israel and to building bridges between Germany and Jewish people around the world, according to Focus magazine. Blumenthal also lauded the chancellor for supporting Jewish cultural life in Germany.
Blumenthal, the U.S. treasury secretary under President Carter, also thanked Merkel for condemning the outspoken ex-Berlin finance minister Thilo Sarrazin for his book and comments blaming Germany’s problems on Muslim immigrants, and claiming that Jews possess superior genes. Sarrazin was forced to resign his position on Germany’s central bank over the issue.
Merkel said at the event that she would continue to press for a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that she had renewed her offer of help in recent phone conversations with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Focus report said.
She also said that “Iran must understand that Israel’s right to exist is non-negotiable for Germany.”
The Leo Baeck Institute has presented its award since 1978.