The foundation established to preserve Anne Frank’s famous chestnut tree must pay for its removal and storage, a Dutch court ruled.
The Amsterdam court ruled that the Support Anne Frank Tree Foundation, established in 2008, must pay the Van der Leij company some $20,000 for its work or the company does not have to return the tree’s remains.
The company had caged the trunk of the 150-year-old tree in a steel structure for protection after the tree was weakened by a fungus and insect infestation, but it was toppled by a storm in August 2010.
Van der Leij cut the tree “into very large pieces which were stored in a dry and ventilated area,” its spokesman Bram van Uchelen told the French news agency AFP. The foundation told AFP that it does not have the money to pay the company and probably never will
Anne Frank made several references to the tree in her famous diary, which she kept for the two years she and her family hid in the attic of an Amsterdam home. The last entry about the tree, on May 13, 1944, said that “Our chestnut tree is in full bloom. It’s covered with leaves and is even more beautiful than last year.” It reportedly cheered up Anne and gave her hope for the future.
Anne Frank died at Bergen-Belsen in March 1945.
Saplings from the tree have been sent to institutions around the world, including Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.
This story "Anne Frank Group Must Pay for Tree" was written by JTA.