Descendents of Anne Frank Tree find new home in the USA

Descendents of Anne Frank Tree

This year eleven descendents of the Anne Frank Tree, the chestnut tree that Anne Frank wrote about in her diary, will be planted at a number of special locations in the USA. The young trees formed a part of the seedling project of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. In 2009 the Anne Frank House, with the help of Bontehoek Tree Nurseries, sent the saplings to its partner organisation the Anne Frank Center in New York. After three years in quarantine, the eleven trees are now reaching their permanent destinations. The first trees will be planted in the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

In the period of over two years – from 6 July 1942 to 4 August 1944 – that Anne Frank spent in hiding in the secret annexe, nature and her longing for freedom played an ever greater role. Through a window in the attic that was not blacked out, Anne could see the sky, birds and the chestnut tree. She wrote about the tree in her diary three times, the last time on 13 May 1944: “Our chestnut tree is in full bloom. It’s covered with leaves and is even more beautiful than last year.”

The tree, a horse chestnut that stood in the courtyard garden of number 188 Keizersgracht, was seriously diseased and very old when, on 23 August 2010, it was blown down by a heavy gust of wind. Some years earlier, in 2005, the Anne Frank House, with the owner’s permission, had arranged for chestnuts to be gathered and germinated so they could be presented to schools named after Anne Frank and other organisations. Many Anne Frank schools and other organisations and locations around the world have received and planted a young tree. In 2009, 150 descendents of the tree were donated to the Amsterdamse Bos woodland park.

 

The Anne Frank Center will now distribute the remaining trees from the seedling project to museums, schools, parks and monuments in the USA.

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