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Jerusalem - Canary Islands Jewish Community, Israelis Honor Dying Wish Of Lonely Holocaust Survivor With Burial In Tel Aviv

Published on: February 27, 2017 10:06 PM
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Jerusalem - More than 200 men and women turned out on Monday morning to honor a 90 year old Holocaust survivor whose final wish was to be buried in Israel.
Hilde Nathan, who had lived in Spain’s Canary Islands for decades until her death, had long expressed a desire to be buried next to her mother in Tel Aviv’s Kiryat Shaul Cemetery.

Ynet News (http://bit.ly/2lPSuID) reported that Nathan, who never married, died last week.  The Canary Islands’ Jewish community, which numbers approximately 20 people, managed to raise the funds to fly Nathan’s body to Israel and also asked Israeli media to encourage locals to come to the funeral of the Holocaust survivor who had no living relatives.

Nathan and her parents lived in Germany and had tried to immigrate to Israel in 1933 but were unable to obtain visas as reported by United with Israel (http://bit.ly/2m5dVrK).  After the outbreak of World War II, the family continued their quest to leave Germany but were sent to Theresienstadt in 1942.


Few survived the concentration camp but Nathan and her parents were liberated by the Russian army in May, 1945 on the day the Germans were finally defeated. Nathan’s father died in Germany shortly after the war and she and her mother relocated to the Canary Islands. 

After her mother’s death several years ago, Nathan planned to bury her mother in Germany, next to her husband, but when she realized that her mother could not have a proper Jewish burial in Germany, Nathan decided to bury her in Israel instead.

Only one of those who turned out to pay their final respects to Nathan actually knew the Theresienstadt survivor. 

“Nathan always lived alone but today it seems that the people of Israel has come to say goodbye,” said the acquaintance.  “She lived alone but did not leave alone.”

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Read Comments (2)  —  Post Yours »


 Feb 27, 2017 at 11:40 PM Anonymous Says:

B"H what a true Kvod HaMas. And only fitting for someone who survived the sheva Madura Gehnoim.


 Feb 28, 2017 at 10:13 AM Befriend those who are alone Says:

This is a reminder to reach out to LIVING survivors and other old (or not old) people who are alone. Although they are alone, they should not be lonely.


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