If this tree falls, everyone is going to hear it. The 150-year-old horse-chestnut tree in the city center of Amsterdam described in Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl is diseased and was in danger of being cut down. It has been losing a battle with fungus and a moth infestation and only a quarter of it is surviving. The Amsterdam city council declared that the tree had to be cut down on last week, but a court recently ruled against that decision and saved the tree from the chop.
“We are so happy about this,” said Helga Fassbinder, a neighbor who looks down on the tree from her apartment in Amsterdam, and founder of the Committee to Save Anne Frank’s Tree.
“That tree is not just a tree,” Fassbinder said. “It is one of the last living witnesses to Anne Frank and all that took place here.”
Frank went into hiding in Amsterdam in 1942 to escape Nazi persecution. She could see the tree from the only window that was not blacked out in the cramped apartment she shared for more than two years with her family and several others, and she wrote about it in her diary.