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Holocaust Memorial Day: Ipswich Rose Planting

Souvenir d’Anne Frank rose bushes, sent especially from Japan, will be planted on Holocaust Memorial Day at the Peace Garden in Christchurch Park in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. The roses were sent to theatre company, Ensemble, whose new theatre and music piece, also called Souvenir d’Anne Frank, tells the extraordinary story of the rose in Japan and appears at New Wolsey Theatre on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 March.

Val Ross from The Anne Frank Trust UK, Councillor Roger Fern, Deputy Mayor of Ipswich, and representatives of faith communities, voluntary and community organisations and the statutory sector will join children from Castle Hill Primary School, as they hang their messages of hope on the ‘remembering tree’ which will be placed alongside the Souvenir d’Anne Frank rose. ‘Souvenir d’Anne Frank’ rose planting ceremonies will also be taking place on Holocaust Memorial Day throughout the UK in parks and gardens in Southampton, Greenwich and Spelthorne, all of which are hosting performances of the Souvenir d’Anne Frank production as part of its national tour.

Named after the rose, the production infuses music with poetry, performance and song to tell the moving and inspiring story of the Souvenir d’Anne Frank rose, and of Anne’s days in hiding before her capture. Dedicated to Anne’s memory, the rose was sent to Japan by Otto Frank (Anne’s father) as a gift to a young Japanese girl, a reader of his daughter’s Diary. The rose was then planted in towns and cities across Japan, a symbol of peace and reconciliation. Theatre company Ensemble, will also be running educational workshops at each venue, as well as hosting an exhibition made with Manchester’s Women Asylum Seekers Together (WAST).

Ensemble’s Elizabeth Mansfield said: “It’s so fantastic that Souvenir d’Anne Frank roses have been sent to us from Japan, to be planted all over the UK for the first time. We hope the roses will leave a legacy of hope and peace, in memory of Anne and her longing for a tolerant, conflict free world”.

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) takes place each year on 27th January and provides an opportunity for everyone to learn lessons from the Holocaust, Nazi persecution and subsequent genocides and apply them to the present day to create a safer, better future. The theme for HMD 2012 is ‘Speak up, Speak out’.

There is an exhibition in the Waterfront building at University Campus Suffolk from 10.30am to 3.30pm on 27th January, with a time for reflection from 12.40pm. Speakers will include councillors from Ipswich Borough Council and Suffolk County Council.

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