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Anne Frank’s tree saved from the axe — for now

AMSTERDAM: The chestnut tree that provided Anne Frank with a visible link to the outside world while in hiding from the Nazis has won a reprieve from the axe.

Amsterdam city decided last year that the tree was dangerous. But Judge Jurjen Bade has ordered the city to meet conservationists to save it, saying that felling the diseased tree should be a last resort. It was to have been cut down at dawn today.

The Anne Frank House told the judge that it favoured cutting the tree out of concern for the safety of the building and its visitors. The museum has already taken grafts and plans to replace the tree with a sapling. Hans Westra, director of the museum, said: “We would rather have a young living tree that will be ten metres tall in ten years.”

Anne Frank referred to the tree several times in her diary as a comfort to her while she was confined in the concealed apartment adjacent to the courtyard where it stands. She could see it through the attic skylight, the only window that was not blacked out. – Source: AP, via Times Online, Nov. 21, 2007

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Last updated CET (Central European Time)

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