On the night of March 16, 1190, the Jewish community of York gathered together for protection inside the ancient Clifford’s Tower.
Rather than perish at the hands of the violent anti-semitic mob that awaited them outside, many of the Jews took their own lives, while others died in the flames. Those who finally surrendered were massacred and murdered.
Yesterday a single rose, a descendant of flower grafted by Anne Frank’s father, was planted during a commemorative ceremony at Tower Gardens involving pupils from Knavesmire Primary School and performers from the city’s Theatre Royal.
The Souvernir d’Anne Frank rose has been sent to the city by Kenji Yamamuro, from Japan. The rose has been grafted from a flower sent by Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank, to a young Japanese girl, Michiko Otsuki, who read Anne’s Diary in the 1970s.
From that one rose, grafts were taken by Michiko’s uncle, Mr Yamamuro, and sent all over Japan, to be planted and nurtured by children, as a living reminder of Anne and her longing for a tolerant, conflict free world.
Councillor Sonja Crisp, York Council’s cabinet member for culture, said: “To be able to reflect and remember such a significant date in our city’s history with a gift as special as this is a very poignant honour and I thank Mr Yamamuro for this gift, which will be cherished by residents for years to come.”