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Tree planted for Association of Jewish Refugees

A hornbeam tree was planted at Glyndebourne today (January 27, 2022), Holocaust Memorial Day, as part of a nationwide campaign to mark the 80th anniversary of the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR)

Hornbeam tree planted at Glyndebourne to mark 80th anniversary of the Association of Jewish Refugees

A hornbeam tree was planted at Glyndebourne today (January 27, 2022), Holocaust Memorial Day, as part of a nationwide campaign to mark the 80th anniversary of the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) – the national charity providing social and welfare services to Holocaust refugees and survivors in the UK.

The 80 Trees for 80 Years campaign will see 80 trees planted around Britain in honour of people and places that symbolise the enormous contribution made to every walk of British life by refugees who escaped from Nazi Europe.

Each of the 80 trees is sponsored by a different AJR member. The Glyndebourne tree was sponsored by the family of the tenor Charles Danson, who fled Germany in 1936 and went on to perform at Glyndebourne. It is planted in loving memory of Mr Danson, his wife Ruth Boronow Danson, and the music-loving Danielsohn-Neufeld, Boronow, Markowitz and Mehlich families.

L-R: David and Ruth Rothenberg, Katie and Peter Boswell, Jackie Danson, Ruth Boronow Danson, Stefanie Heichelheim, Gus Christie, Andrew Harper, Danielle de Niese and Stephen Langridge. Photo by James Bellorini

Glyndebourne Festival is famously the creation of John and Audrey Christie, but its success would not have been possible without the winning team of conductor Fritz Busch and producer Carl Ebert, the Festival’s first artistic directors, and Rudolf Bing, General Manager of Glyndebourne from 1936-1949. All exiles from Hitler’s Germany, the three men played a vital role in establishing the high European standards of performance that set Glyndebourne apart and drew on the talents of a wide circle of émigré artists and musicians.

‘As well as helping to mark the heritage of our members and a place of historic interest associated with them, the planting of this tree enables the AJR to give back to and create a living legacy within the country that became home to the Jewish refugees,’ said AJR CEO Michael Newman OBE. ‘We hope these 80 special trees will be appreciated by future generations and provide natural habitats for other native species for many decades to come.’

L-R: Gus Christie, Peter Boswell, Ruth Boronow Danson and Jackie Danson. Photo by James Bellorini

Gus Christie, Executive Chairman of Glyndebourne, said: ‘We are delighted to provide a home for this tree in honour of the 80th anniversary of the Association of Jewish Refugees. Glyndebourne is one of many examples of the huge contribution to British musical life made by refugees from Nazi Germany – the vision, expertise and commitment of Carl Ebert, Fritz Busch and Rudolf Bing helped establish the strong foundations on which Glyndebourne was built and brought to Glyndebourne a host of other talented musicians and singers escaping Germany including the tenor Charles Danson, in whose memory this tree has been planted.’

The tree will act as a platform for telling the story of Britain’s Jewish refugees and celebrating their remarkable contribution to British life. It will also form part of The Queen’s Green Canopy – the unique tree planting initiative which will mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, whose organisers have adopted the AJR’s project as a ‘wonderful initiative’.

All 80 trees are featured on the UK Holocaust Map, a new online resource which helps to tell the story of the Holocaust and British responses to Nazism.

Photo: James Bellorini


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