Anne Frank tree topples

Aug. 23, 2010 at 1:35 PM
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AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- A gust of wind apparently blew down the giant chestnut tree Anne Frank wrote about in her diary, a spokesman for the Anne Frank House said in the Netherlands.

Radio Netherlands Monday quoted the spokesman as saying there was a noise and a fierce gust of wind "and when we went to look it was lying on the ground." The tree was believed 150 to 170 years old and was the victim of a fungus and moth infestation.

Frank, the young Jewish girl who hid with her family and others in an Amsterdam attic from the Nazis during World War II, gained international fame when her diary came to light and was published. She died in a Nazi concentration camp after the hiding place was discovered.

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 … while this lasts I cannot be unhappy."

City officials ordered the tree cut down in 2007 but a court order was issued stopping the action. A structure supporting the tree was built in 2008.

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