Earlier today, a storm knocked down the so-called “Anne Frank tree” in Amsterdam. The horse-chestnut tree, which lived to approximately 170, had already suffered from fungus and moth infestation; a judge stayed an order to remove it in 2007 following a popular outcry.
Fans will recall that Anne could view the tree from the Annex. “Nearly every morning I go to the attic to blow the stuffy air out of my lungs,” she wrote, “from my favorite 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.”
Because this was clearly your next question, “tree” or “trees” is mentioned in In the Aeroplane Over the Sea three times:
• “And how you built a tower tumbling through the trees” (“King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1”);
• “There are lights in the clouds/Anna’s ghost all around/Hear her voice as it’s rolling and ringing through me/Soft and sweet/How the notes all bend and reach above the trees” (“In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”);
• “Two-headed boy/There’s no reason to grieve/The world that you need is wrapped in gold silver sleeves/Left beneath Christmas trees in the snow” (“Two-Headed Boy”).
Storm Knocks Down Tree That Cheered Anne Frank [AP/Google]