Anne Frank tree wins reprieve
The tree which Anne Frank could see from her secret WWII hideout in Amsterdam has been saved from the axe. The decision means the horse chestnut will likely remain in place for as long as 15 years.
The tree, which Anne Frank could see from her secret WWII hideout in Amsterdam, has been saved from the axe. The decision means the horse chestnut will likely remain in place for as long as 15 years.
The horse chestnut tree in Amsterdam which young Jewish school girl Anne Frank could see from the 'secret annexe' in which she, her immediate family and four other Jewish people spent years in hiding during World War II, has been saved for the immediate future.
Following the discovery that the tree, which stands on the property of a house next to the building in which Anne and her fellows spent a large part of the war, was infected with mould and was at possible risk of falling, its current owner applied for a permit to have it felled.
Once it became known that the tree - which Anne mentioned several times in her now world famous diary - was likely to be cut down, a wave or protest developed, making headlines across the globe and leading to the creation of a special Support Anne Frank Tree foundation here in the Netherlands.
In November 2007, those campaigning to save the tree obtained a temporary injunction which prevented the tree from being felled. Now, it has been revealed that agreement has been reached to save the tree for, at least, the immediate future.
Dutch Professor of Economics Arnold Heertje, a leading member of the save the tree foundation, told AFP news agency on Wednesday: "An agreement was signed Monday. It is inconceivable that this agreement will be rejected, and the municipality [of Amsterdam] has already given it the go ahead."
The deal, whereby a supporting structure is to be built around the tree - reportedly before the end of May this year, at the latest - to give it additional support, was concluded by and between parties which included the Anne Frank Foundation, the Support Anne Frank Tree foundation and the local Amsterdam Centre district council.
The Support Anne Frank Tree foundation will take on responsibility for the horse chestnut tree and for its new support structure, which will reportedly cost some 50,000 euros.
24 January 2008
[Copyright Radio Netherlands 2008]