AJACCIO (France), August 3 – A commemorative tree from a cut of the horse chestnut tree that Anne Frank wrote about in her diary during World War II has been vandalized on the French island of Corsica, triggering a investigation, prosecutors announced today.
The damage to the tree, donated in 2010 to Corsica by the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, was discovered early yesterday, hours before an annual event was held on the Mediterranean island to commemorate the Holocaust .
Jewish teenager Frank found encouragement in a white chestnut tree she could see from a window in a hidden apartment on Amsterdam’s Keizersgracht where she and her family hid from the Nazis for nearly two years.
On February 23, 1944, she wrote in her diary, which has become one of the most widely read books in the world: “We both watched the blue sky, the bare chestnut tree glistening with dew, the seagulls and other birds glistening with silver so. they were flying in the air.
“We were so moved and delighted that we couldn’t speak.
Anne Frank died in 1945 at the age of 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northern Germany.
The nearly 200-year-old tree, diseased and supported by a steel frame, was finally toppled by high winds in 2010, but not before the saplings were sent to recipients around the world, including the village of Pianello in eastern Corsica.
Prosecutors in the nearby town of Bastia said today that the tree trunk had been stripped of some of its bark, potentially threatening its survival.
An investigation has been opened for the intentional destruction of property.
Bastia prosecutor Caroline Tharot told AFP that no one had claimed responsibility and that the vandals had left no entries. It was therefore impossible to say for sure that the act had an anti-Semitic aim, she added.
The damage was done on the same day that Pianello hosted an annual day of debates, lectures and concerts in commemoration of the Holocaust, the slaughter of some six million Jews at the hands of the Nazis. – AFP