The chestnut tree that cheered Anne Frank during her period of hiding from the Nazis has toppled over in Amsterdam. The iron which had been supporting the tree also fell.
The Anne Frank Museum reported that: “On 23 August around 13.30 hours the chestnut tree that Anne Frank wrote about in her diary fell down, together with its iron supporting construction. The tree broke off completely at a height of approximately one meter above the ground. Fortunately nobody was injured.”
During the time the girl spent in the annex of the building in occupied Holland, from 6 July 1942 to 4 August 1944, she often looked through an attic window at the tree, the birds and the sky. She mentioned the tree in her diary three times, the last being on 13 May 1944, when she said: “Our chestnut tree is in full bloom. It’s covered with leaves and is even more beautiful than last year.”
In 2005 it was learned that the tree was suffering from disease. Chestnuts were than gathered and germinated, and saplings were given to schools and other locations around the world.
The 25-tonne tree was given a steel support structure in April 2008, and its crown was anchored.
CBC News reported that a fungus and a moth called the horse chestnut leaf miner had weakened the tree.
There were windy conditions on Monday and a museum spokeswoman said that the tree's trunk snapped about one metre from the ground, causing it to fall into neighbouring properties and damage sheds.
The white horse chestnut was more than 150 years old, making it one of the oldest chestnut trees in Amsterdam.