On the 23rd of August, 2010, the huge chestnut tree tumbled in a storm. Only the stump still stood, and a thick tangled mass of shoots sprang off his healthy side. One of them was chosen to go on growing, he should give a second life to the Anne Frank chestnut. A tree expert has tied him up onto a thick bamboo pole, with the hope that he should be powered by the huge root system of the old tree that feeds him with his overflowing juices. Trees have eternal life, say some tree experts. But this hope was disappointed. Also this shoot of the meaningful tree could not resist to the deadly fungus.
However this is not the end of history. Now the huge, symbolic tree carry on his message of hope, tolerance, and respect for life in all its diversity by his seedings. Out of his fruit, the chestnuts we collected each autumn, offshoots have grown in the meantime who have now made their way into the world: small trees, planted in different places on the planet during solemn ceremonies, meant to grow into living memorials of remembrance and of invoking a tolerant and peaceful world in which racism and oppression are neither practiced nor accepted by anyone anymore.
In many countries, as in the Netherlands, in France, in Spain, in Germany, in the United States, in South America, not to forget on the small Mediterranean island of Corsica, where the persecuted Jews were protected by a sacred law of hospitality: not one of them has been betrayed - everywhere descendants of the great tree have struck root in squares, in schoolyards, in museums, and other important public places.
Meanwhile, the World Tree Foundation has taken over the task of remembrance. It assists in planting and in supervision of the young trees, making it possible for them to grow into world trees, never to be threatened by a saw or an axe, to act as symbols of inviolable humanity.
Prof. dr. Helga Fassbinder