Hundreds of strangers attend funeral of Holocaust survivor who died without family

Esther Greizer was never able to have children after being abused by Mengele at Auschwitz


Esther Greitzer (Photo: X/Twitter)

Hundreds of Israeli strangers gathered on Monday to attend the funeral of 95-year-old Esther Greizer, a Holocaust survivor who died on Yom HaShoah without any immediate family to mourn her passing.

Israelis responded to a plea on social media to attend the Haifa funeral of the Hungary-born survivor. Hundreds of strangers descended on the cemetery for her burial on Monday afternoon and crowds thronged out into the street. Some mourners waved Israeli flags and others wept.

As a child, Greizer survived deadly medical experiments conducted by the notorious "Angel of Death" Josef Mengele at the Auschwitz death camp. Her great-nephew Yochai Gringlick said she was never able to have children of her own after the abuse she suffered at the camp.

Writing on Facebook, Gringlick said: “It didn’t prevent Esti from marrying the late Gershon and living a happy life full of love and giving [...] Because she didn’t have children, we were like grandchildren to her, even though we were her sister’s great-grandchildren.”

“Unfortunately, there will be no shiva,” he wrote, referring to the traditional period of mourning.

“She doesn’t have children and her brothers are all already dead. There will only be a funeral,” he said, appealing to strangers to join the funeral. 

Greizer’s passing and funeral coincided with Yom HaShoah, the memorial day in Israel and the diaspora for the six million Jewish victims of the Nazi genocide.

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