Amsterdam court upholds license to fell Anne Frank tree
A Dutch appeals committee has upheld a court decision to grant a license that will allow the owner of Amsterdam's so-called Anne Frank tree to cut it down.16 January 2008
AMSTERDAM - A Dutch appeals committee has upheld a court decision to grant a license that will allow the owner of Amsterdam's so-called Anne Frank tree to cut it down, city authorities said Wednesday.
The ailing chestnut tree is located in the garden opposite Achterhuis, the house where the young Jewish girl hid during World War II, which is now a museum. At between 150 and 170 years old, it is one of the city's oldest.
The appeals committee of an Amsterdam court ruled that a license granted in March 2007 for the removal of the tree had been given for legitimate reasons, the Amsterdam municipality said.
The owner of the property where the tree is located had argued that the tree was in poor health, that several attempts to revive it had failed and that it poses a risk to public safety.
A group of private citizens and the Dutch Bomenstichting or tree foundation protested the court decision and asked the court to allow for further investigation.
The Anne Frank Foundation, which maintains the site, now the Anne Frank museum, has adopted a neutral stance on the issue.
Frank described the tree in her famous diary which she penned while hiding in the Achterhuis on Amsterdam's Prinsengracht with her family and four other Jews were during the war. The eight hid there between 1942 and 1944 until they were betrayed in August 1944.
The Germans subsequently deported them to concentration camps, where some were killed and others succumbed to starvation and illness.
Otto Frank, Anne Frank's father, was the only survivor. After the war, Miep Gies, who provided the group with basic necessities while in hiding, gave him the diary his youngest daughter Anne wrote during that period.
Following its publication in 1947, the widely translated The Diary of Anne Frank became one of the most famous documents recounting the Nazi persecution of the Jews during World War II.
[Copyright dpa 2008]
Subject: Dutch news