LITERATURE and MUSIC
New publication !
A Chestnut tree in Amsterdam
by Helga Fassbinder
with texts and photos by Helga Fassbinder, poems by
Jos Versteegen and music by Johannes Eckmann.
The book includes a CD
Les Editions Manson, Paris
It is perhaps the most famous tree in the world – the
chestnut tree on the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam that
Anne Frank, confined to the rear building, could see
through her attic window. It was her only view of the
outside world. She could watch the changes of the
seasons on its branches, in its leaves, its blooming flowers
and its chestnuts; she saw the birds, she saw a free world.
In her diary she wrote movingly about the hope the
tree gave her.
The tree no longer exists: it was blown down during
a storm. Only photographs, texts and songs can keep
its memory alive. Through words, images and music,
Anne’s Tree retrieves this outstanding symbol of hope
The Dutch poet Jos Versteegen wrote five poems about this special tree and what it meant for Anne. The poems of Jos Versteegen were also put to music by the Dutch composer Paul Prenen and the German composer Johannes Eckmann.
The tree has also inspired the theater world. Olga Eigenbrood created a piece about the struggle to save the Anne Frank tree which has been performed several times in Dutch and in German: first in 2008 in Dutch in Amsterdam, in 2009 in German in the art centre of Markdorf and later on of that year in Mannheim in the Jewish center. In 2015 the song by Johannes Eckmann on the texts of Jos Versteegen were performed at the Synagoge of Recklinghausen, Germany.