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Holocaust Memorial Center Plans Anne Frank Educational Events

Programs will include free events for children and adults.

The Holocaust Memorial Center offers educational programs around the acquisition of a sapling from the tree that brought Anne Frank comfort as she hid from the Nazis. Photo credit: Patch file photo
The Holocaust Memorial Center offers educational programs around the acquisition of a sapling from the tree that brought Anne Frank comfort as she hid from the Nazis. Photo credit: Patch file photo
The Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus has announced a series of events to commemorate its acquisition of a sapling from the white chestnut tree that brought Anne Frank solace as she hid from the Nazis during World War II. 

The schedule includes free educational programming for children and adults, and culminates with the tree planting and exhibit dedication ceremony in the fall. A separate seminar for educators also is planned.  

The sapling, awarded by Anne Frank Center USA, is just one of 11 to be planted in the U.S. from the nearly 200-year-old tree that served as one of the Jewish teenager’s only connections to nature while she and her family hid in a Secret Annex in her father’s company building at 263 Prinsengracht in Amsterdam. It will become part of a larger exhibit titled, “Looking Out Anne Frank’s Window.” 

“Our exhibits create a call to action, teaching visitors through the examples of those who risked their lives to save others, and asking our guests to react to contemporary challenges such as racism, intolerance, bullying and prejudice,” said Holocaust Memorial Center Executive Director Stephen Goldman.  “This tree and the surrounding exhibit we will create epitomize these messages, exemplifying hope for humanity.” 

Events honoring Anne Frank began on May 7 at Berkley High School when the Holocaust Memorial Center partnered with Berkley Schools to host the American premiere of “My Name is Anne Frank, a cantata by German composer Volker Blumenthaler and librettist Alexander Gruber. This summer’s curriculum, featuring programs designed for both children and adults, includes: 

Anne Frank Door Project
July 26, 2:30 p.m.-4 p.m., Camp Tamarack, 4361 Perryville Rd., Ortonville (Girls ages 12-13); July 25, 2:30 p.m.-4 p.m., Oak Park Library, 14200 Oak Park Blvd., Oak Park (Teenage Girls)
Participants decorate a door that opens up to a photo of themselves and their handwritten answers to select questions. The goal is to help confront some of the same issues Anne Frank faced.

The Anne Frank Curriculum: A Special Seminar for Teachers
July 21, All Day, Holocaust Memorial Center, 28123 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills (Teachers from Jewish schools)
Monday, July 22, All Day, Holocaust Memorial Center, 28123 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills (Teachers from all other schools)
Curriculum created by the Holocaust Memorial Center is designed to guide middle and high school educators through teaching The Diary of Anne Frank as an introduction to the Holocaust.

Looking Out Anne Frank’s Window Creative Writing Program for Families
Date, time and location to be determined
A journal/diary can become a compelling document for the future. This creative writing program for middle and high school students and their families encourages young people to keep a written journal and to reflect on their experiences. 

Looking Out Anne Frank’s Window Film Presentation: “Anne Frank Remembered”
Date, time and location to be determined
This Academy Award-winning documentary chronicles the life of Anne Frank.  Narrated by actor Kenneth Branagh with excerpts from Frank’s diary read by actress Glenn Close, this documentary features vintage newsreels, photographs and even a rare home movie to look beyond the celebrated pages of Anne's diary.

For more information on the dedication and surrounding events, call 248-553-2400, or visit holocaustcenter.org.

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