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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 November 2007, 11:02 GMT
Anne Frank tree escapes axe again
A tree expert examines Anne Frank's chestnut tree in Amsterdam
Conservationists say the tree is strong enough to withstand a storm
The chestnut tree that comforted Anne Frank as she hid from the Nazis in Amsterdam during World War II has won another reprieve.

Amsterdam city council ruled in March that the rotting 150-year-old tree must be felled as a danger to the public.

The tree won a first reprieve in October but the council issued an order last week for the tree to be chopped down on Wednesday morning.

A number of conservationists filed a legal claim to save the tree.

Judge Jurjen Bade ruled on Tuesday that the tree posed no immediate danger and called for alternative measures to be explored.

He said that felling the tree should be a "last resort" and told the council to meet with conservationists to find a solution. They have until mid-January to come up with a plan.

Symbol of freedom

A Utrecht-based firm, Trees Institute, has suggested a salvage plan involving treatment and support for the trunk and limbs, such as anchoring the tree with cables.

Spokesman Edwin Koot told Associated Press: "We finally get the possibility to have time to look into the alternatives and that is exactly what we have asked for so long already.

"This is a monumental tree of unusual cultural and historical value. It's a symbol of freedom all over the world and it summons forth a lot of emotion," he said.

Anne Frank
Anne Frank died in a Nazi concentration camp in 1945

The tree was a ray of hope for Anne Frank, the famous Jewish diary writer, as she hid in the attic of a canal-side warehouse.

As a teenager she remained indoors with her family for 25 months until they were arrested in August 1944.

She died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen camp in March 1945.

The attic window from which Anne Frank could see the tree was the only one that had not been blacked out.

In an entry dated February 23, 1944, she wrote: "From my favourite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind...

"As long as this exists, I thought, and I may live to see it, this sunshine, the cloudless skies, while this lasts I cannot be unhappy."

The 27-tonne tree is diseased with fungi and the owner wants it cut down as he would be liable for any damage caused should it fall.

The tree is adjacent to the building that now houses the Anne Frank Museum.

The Anne Frank House told Judge Bade it was in favour of felling the tree, out of concern for the safety of the building and the hundreds of thousands of visitors it receives each year.

The museum has taken grafts and wants to replace the tree with a sapling from the original.

Anne Frank's tree wins reprieve
04 Oct 07 |  Europe
In pictures: Anne Frank family papers
15 Feb 07 |  In Pictures
Timeline: The Netherlands
22 Feb 07 |  Country profiles

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