- A rabbi was worried that no one would show up to the funeral of Holocaust survivor Eddie Ford, who died from cancer aged 85.
- Zeke Newman asked on Facebook for volunteers, and said he expected no more than 10 people to show up. Instead, around 200 did.
- Ford was taken from his parents at age six and raised by a Christian family that hid him during the war. He died with few family or friends left.
- "Im not a mushy guy, but I went home and cried for an hour," Newman told The Washington Post after the funeral.
Around 200 strangers showed up at the funeral of Holocaust survivor Eddie Ford after a rabbi said he was afraid that there would be almost no one there.
Ford, 85, died alone from cancer with few family and friends left, The Washington Post reported. He was raised by a Christian family in Budapest who hid him during the war, but he told a rabbi visiting his hospital that he wanted a Jewish funeral.
But to hold such a burial, 10 men need to attend.
So Zale Newman, a volunteer rabbi who visited Ford in hospital in Toronto, looked for volunteers to attend the funeral on Facebook. In the post, seen by INSIDER, Newman asked for help saying goodbye to "a sweet Holocaust survivor who passed away leaving no relatives other than a nephew in a US city"
"Can you come escort a Hero of the Holocaust for his final journey," he asked.
Just three people replied to say they were coming, Newman said in a follow-up post. "I was hoping for at least ten in total," he said.
But on the day, he couldn't almost couldn't enter the ceremony because there were so many cars. " I assumed there was another funeral taking place at the same time and I wondered how we would find Eddie's resting place."
Instead, hundreds of people had arrived in freezing temperatures for Ford's funeral.
"There was so much purity," Newman told The Washington Post. "There was no recognition, no way to get paid back. Im not a mushy guy, but I went home and cried for an hour."
Ford can be seen in this photo, shared by Global News Toronto's Caryl Lieberman:
Newman told The Post that Ford had told him his life story in hospital. He was taken from his parents at age six and put with a family who raised him until the war ended. He later reconnected with his mother and brother, who he barely knew, but his father had died.
Newman said that Ford loved to sing and tell stories.
"No one should die alone," Newman told The Post. "No one should be alone while theyre alive. We have to find the elderly and visit them."