The crowd gathered for a funeral in Israel recently was a wonderful testament to the Israeli spirit. The funeral was for Hilde Nathan, a Holocaust survivor from the Canary Islands. Her dying wish was to be buried in Israel next to her mother.
And while Hilde didn’t really know anyone in Israel, her funeral drew a crowd of more than 200 – all but one of them strangers.
Hilde Nathan, who did not have a husband or children, died alone two weeks ago in the Canary Islands at 90. Knowing of her wishes, the Canary Island Jewish community in Spain, which numbers about 20, raised the money to fly her body to Israel for burial.
The community put out a call through the Israeli media for mourners at her funeral, which was held Monday morning.
“Nathan always lived alone, but today it seems that the entire People of Israel has come to say goodbye,” an Israeli Holocaust survivor, the only person at the funeral who knew her, told the United with Israel website. “She lived alone, but did not leave alone.”