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Anne Frank's chestnut to be felled

March 11, 2007|From the Associated Press

AMSTERDAM — Amsterdam's City Council gave a property owner permission to cut down the chestnut tree that comforted Anne Frank while she was in hiding.

The large 150-year-old tree has been attacked by a fungus and is in danger of falling.

The tree is familiar to readers of "The Diary of Anne Frank." It stands in the courtyard of the building where her family hid during the Nazi occupation.

The Jewish teenager made several references to it in the diary she kept during 25 months of hiding until the family was arrested in August 1944.

"Nearly every morning I go to the attic to blow the stuffy air out of my lungs," 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, appearing like silver, and at the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind....

"As long as this exists, I thought, and I may live to see it, this sunshine, the cloudless skies, while this lasts I cannot be unhappy."

Opponents have six weeks to file an objection but that is seen as unlikely. The Anne Frank Museum said a sapling from the original chestnut will replace it.

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