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Tree that cheered Anne Frank toppled by wind

The monumental chestnut tree that cheered Anne Frank while she was in hiding from the Nazis was toppled by wind and heavy rain on Monday....

Written by Associated Press | Amsterdam | Published: August 24, 2010 4:50:09 am

The monumental chestnut tree that cheered Anne Frank while she was in hiding from the Nazis was toppled by wind and heavy rain on Monday.

The once mighty tree,now diseased and rotted through the trunk,snapped 1 metre above ground. It damaged a brick wall and several sheds,but nearby buildings — including the Anne Frank House museum — escaped unscathed. No one was injured.

“Someone yelled,‘It’s falling. The tree is falling’,and then you heard it go down,” said museum spokeswoman Maatje Mostart.

A global campaign to save the chestnut,widely known as The Anne Frank Tree,was launched in 2007 after city officials deemed it a safety hazard and ordered it felled. The tree was granted a last-minute reprieve after a battle in court.

The 150-year-old tree suffered from fungus and moths that had caused more than half its trunk to rot.

Anne Frank made several references to the tree in her diary in the 25 months she remained indoors until her 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 February 23,1944. “From my favourite 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.”

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