Former President Clinton To Speak At Opening Of Anne Frank Monument

Sep 30, 2015

The space where the Anne Frank Tree will eventually be placed on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Center.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Former President Bill Clinton will be back in Arkansas to speak Friday at the opening of a permanent installation at his presidential library which invokes the spirit of a young Jewish girl who hid with her family from the Nazis during World War II.

A young sapling called the Anne Frank Tree will be unveiled. It comes from an original white horse chestnut tree that stood outside the building in Amsterdam that housed her family and which Frank wrote about in her now famous diary.

The Clinton Presidential Center is one of 11 entities in the U.S. to be awarded a sapling from that tree.

Part of the display explains about the life of Anne Frank.
Credit Michael Hibblen

Jordan Johnson, a spokesman for the Clinton Foundation, says they applied along with the temple B’nai Israel to get the tree several years ago through the Anne Frank Center USA.

"We’re very excited about that and we think we’re probably going to have several hundred school children there at the event on Friday to see this formal opening with the president. So I know it’ll be moving and we’re just grateful that the time has finally come that we can open this," Johnson said.

The sapling will be shown at the event, but then kept at a local nursery until it has matured enough to be planted at the exhibit site. 

The tree will be surrounded by five framed etched glass panels. Two feature quotes from former President Clinton and Anne Frank. The others recount human rights events in Arkansas like the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the Japanese-American internment camps of World War II and the Central High Desegregation crisis of 1957.

Friday's event begins at 11 a.m. and is by invitation only.