Amsterdam, 23 February 1944
“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 fourteen year old Jewish girl wrote these words in her now world famous diary. Daily she would look out of the attic window in the Prinsengracht.It was the only one that wasn’t blacked out in the tiny warehouse hiding place of her family and four friends, on to the Chestnut tree. It gave her strength through the twenty five monthes confinement during the German occupation of the Netherlands by just being there.
Anne would look at it and note the changing foliage from season to season.
It was bare when they came for her in February 1945.
She died early March of Typhoid Fever in the German concentration camp Bergen-Belsen, a few days after her sister. She was fifteen.
The Chestnut tree lived, and is still there so many years after. But it was sentenced to die on the 21st of November 2007. Some experts said it was old and sick and couldn’t be saved. Others said it could but they had little weight in the matter.
I don’t know what has happened to Anne’s tree.