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Fischer, with some dude the News doesn’t identify, in the late 1980s.(NYDailyNews.com)

Perhaps moved to investigate further by the skeptical comments when the story first ran, New York’s Daily News has uncovered the “mystery” of the homeless Holocaust survivor who willed more than $100,000 to Hebrew University, quite possibly against the dead woman’s wishes. Now, instead of the portrait of a desperate bag lady painted by the press over the last week, we have an actual photograph of Ida Fischer, who, according to the new article, didn’t survive the Holocaust but rather fled Vienna with her family beforehand, was a religious Jew, very popular with men, and lived in a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. And, according to her will, which the Daily News also took the liberty of publishing, the money she left to Hebrew University was specifically designated to go toward research on blindness and heart disease. One part of the original story still seems to be true: Fischer did move neighbors’ cars for money, and then left a quarter of her estate to one of them. A friend said he “wasn’t surprised Fischer had a gentleman friend to help her,” but if she kept him from getting parking tickets in New York, and then willed him a chunk of change, it seems like the other way around. Don’t worry, though, the Daily News’s online commenters have still seen fit to kvetch, now about why Fischer left her money to Hebrew University instead of any number of their own pet charities. The University has apologized for spreading the false information.

‘Eccentric Hippie’ Who Donated Fortune, Ida Fischer, Had Megabucks to Match a Huge Heart [NYDN]





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