Anne Frank pic is a Winner

Monday 16th June 2008

Film producer and critic Michael Winner joined with relatives of Anne Frank in Holland Park last week as he unveiled a portrait of the chestnut tree seen from the window of the diarist’s hideaway.

Winner planted a new chestnut tree in the park during the ceremony last Thursday to mark the tenth anniversary of the Anne Frank declaration against tolerance and prejudice and what would have been her 79th birthday had she not died in the Bergen Belsen concentration camp age 15.

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Winner said: “A tree represents life and Anne Frank of course represents the terrible things people do to eachother that I am afraid still goes on.”

Franks step sister, Eva Schloss, 79, also attended the ceremony. She said her father Otto Schiff would have been proud, “Otto was very involved with planting new trees and flowers so I know he would have been extremely happy and moved by the tree planting in Anna’s name.

“While in the attic, this tree was her only connection to the outside world. The tree will give us hope for the future.”

Cindy Lass, who painted the portrait named No Time To Blossom, said: “I decided to paint the portrait because my birthday is June 14th (two days after Anne’s), I’m a girl and I love trees. I was told to interpret it how I like. I felt so honoured to be asked.

“Someone once asked me why I made the portrait so colourful and I said ‘well she was a colourful person and she would have been a remarkable woman. She wouldn’t want us here crying over her, she’d want us to have the message we have.’”

Gillian Walnes, Executive Director of the Anne Frank Trust UK said: “The very fact that it started out with showers of rain and then turned into this beautiful blue sky is symbolic of the hope that Anne Frank brings to people.”

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