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A sapling from Anne Frank's beloved chestnut tree will take root in Iowa

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Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

On her 13th birthday Anne Frank received a diary. She immediately began to write about her life, her feelings, her hopes and dreams, but shortly after she received the diary her Jewish family was forced into hiding.

Anne Frank and her family spent 761 days living in a hidden annex in Amsterdam before they were discovered and sent to Nazi concentration camps. Only Otto Frank, Anne’s father, survived. After the war, he shared Anne’s diary first with friends and then with the world. While her words have touched millions of lives, a unique artifact from her life is coming to Iowa City — an offspring of the chestnut tree that Anne could see from the annex.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks to Kirsten Kumpf Baele of the University of Iowa and Ali Borger-Germann, who teaches at City High in Iowa City, about the life and legacy of Anne Frank and the trees that are a powerful symbol of hope and help keep her legacy alive. The planting event, The Anne Frank Tree: Taking Root in Iowa, will take place on April 29, 2022.


  • Kirsten Kumpf Baele, lecturer, outreach coordinator, German Department, Languages and Culture at the University of Iowa
  • Ali Borger-Germann, teacher, City High School, Iowa City
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Matthew was a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa