Anne Frank tree topples in Amsterdam
The chestnut tree that once comforted Anne Frank in Amsterdam has toppled despite being propped up by workers in April 2008. (Evert Elzinga/Associated Press)
A monumental chestnut tree that cheered teenage diarist Anne Frank while she was in hiding from the Nazis has toppled over, the Anne Frank Museum said Monday.
The tree was under attack by an aggressive fungus, while a moth called the horse chestnut leaf miner had weakened it.
It made headlines around the world in 2007 when Amsterdam officials ordered it cut down for safety's sake. Supporters who saw the tree as a symbol of freedom protested and it was granted a last-minute reprieve.
The 24-tonne tree was encased in a steel support system, which failed under windy weather conditions Monday.
Museum spokeswoman Maatje Mostart said the tree's trunk snapped about one metre from the ground and it fell into neighbouring gardens, damaging several sheds. No one was hurt.
The Jewish teenager wrote about it several times in her diary, published as The Diary of Anne Frank. She would describe looking at it through an attic window of the apartment, concealed in her father's factory, where she and her family hid from the Germans for more than two years.
The factory and apartment where they hid, on Amsterdam's Prinsengracht canal, is preserved as a tribute to Anne Frank and to her book, which has been read by 25 million people worldwide.
Many clones of the tree have been taken.