|Photo of white chestnut tree as seen from the attic of Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. Photo taken 2007.|
Amsterdam's Anne Frank House museum germinated saplings with the intention of distributing them in honour of Anne Frank. When lawyer Michael Vineberg learned of this he requested one be delivered to Montreal. Veineberg helped found the Anne Frank Foundation in Canada. 11 other saplings were distributed to the United States. The Montreal sapling was planted September 27, 2010 in the Peace Garden during a ceremony at the Holocaust Memorial Centre.
“The tree represented really her only link to the outside world,” Vineberg ... says of Frank’s time hiding from the Nazis in the annex of an Amsterdam home. “It represented the purity of nature and the continuity of life.”
The beloved chestnut tree in Amsterdam was written about in Anne Frank's diary. She would often look out the attic window upon the tree. She wrote she could always find happiness looking at the raindrops on its boughs and out at the sky.
The white chestnut tree blew down during a storm last month. It had stood for 170 years before succumbing to disease and the wind storm. The tree was on private property and had been protected against removal when it was found to be diseased by Support Anne Frank Tree Foundation. The property owner, not the foundation nor Anne Frank House museum, decides whether to replace it.
Passages from Anne Frank's diary that reference the tree:
“23 February 1944”
“The two of us looked out at the blue sky, the bare chestnut tree glistening with dew, the seagulls and other birds glinting with silver as they swooped through the air, and we were so moved and entranced that we couldn’t speak. ”
“18 April 1944”
“April is glorious, not too hot and not too cold, with occasional light showers. Our chestnut tree is in leaf, and here and there you can already see a few small blossoms.”
“ 13 May 1944”
“Our chestnut tree is in full bloom. It’s covered with leaves and is even more beautiful than last year.”