Anne Frank’s chestnut tree gets a reprieve

This video is called Death of a [Anne Frank‘s] Chestnut Tree.

From Associated Press:

Anne Frank’s chestnut tree is granted a reprieve

Diseased chestnut tree comforted Jewish girl while she hid from Nazis

NBC News correspondents and producers around the globe share their insight on news events.

Updated: 11:01 a.m. ET Oct. 3, 2007

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – The diseased chestnut tree that comforted Anne Frank while she hid from the Nazis during World War II has been granted a reprieve.

The 150-year-old tree was due to be chopped down after experts determined it could not be rescued from the fungus and moths that caused more than half its trunk to rot.

The tree is familiar to millions of readers of “The Diary of Anne Frank.” It stands behind the “secret annex” atop the canal-side warehouse where her family hid during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, and its crown was just visible through the attic skylight — the only window that was not blacked out.

An appeals panel made two separate decisions last week: one upholding the right of the tree’s owner to have it cut down any time in the next two years, and another granting a request by the country’s Trees Institute to investigate the possibility of saving it, said Ton Boon, a spokesman for Amsterdam’s Central borough.

The tree is on the property of Keizersgracht 188, adjacent to the building that is now the Anne Frank Museum. Property owner Henric Pomes has agreed for the time being to wait for the institute’s proposal, due before Jan. 1, Boon said.

The Utrecht-based Trees Institute said its salvage plan would likely involve a combination of treatments and supports for its trunk and limbs.

“Safety must come first,” said spokesman Edwin Koot. “It’s dangerous for people, and you don’t even want to think about what could happen if it were to fall into the Anne Frank house.”

‘Tree represented freedom’

The Jewish teenager made several references to the tree in the diary that she kept during the 25 months she remained indoors until the family was arrested in August 1944.

“Nearly every morning I go to the attic to blow the stuffy air out of my lungs,” she wrote on Feb. 23, 1944. “From my favorite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind. …

“As long as this exists, I thought, and I may live to see it, this sunshine, the cloudless skies, while this lasts I cannot be unhappy.”

From Wikipedia:

Otto Frank, Anne’s father, described his thoughts upon reading the diary for the first time in a 1968 speech. He described his surprise at learning of the tree’s importance to Anne as follows:

“How could I have suspected that it meant so much to Anne to see a patch of blue sky, to observe the gulls during their flight and how important the chestnut tree was to her, as I recall that she never took an interest in nature. But she longed for it during that time when she felt like a caged bird. She only found consolation in thinking about nature. But she had kept such feelings completely to herself.”

Why Do Autumn Leaves Turn Red? Soil May Dictate Fall Colors: here.

8 thoughts on “Anne Frank’s chestnut tree gets a reprieve

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