The Countess Nathalie von Bismarck of Germany was in Israel last week to learn more about Hadassah’s projects so she can help promote them. Involved with many philanthropic ventures, the countess said that Hadassah was not exposed enough in Europe.
“Hadassah hospitals need help and a stronger image in Europe, and with our contacts and credibility as Bismarcks, we can bring a lot to the table,” she said in Jerusalem during Hadassah’s Centennial Convention.
Von Bismarck, who grew up primarily in Montreal and New York City, said that she was “fascinated and touched by Hadassah.
“I am a humanitarian, and anything that has to do with research, health, and saving people’s lives comes before anything,” she said.
As a young adult, the countess completed two years of volunteer national service in Israel’s army before receiving Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Fine Arts at Parsons School for Design in New York. After teaching at Parsons for two years, she opened a series of businesses related to art, interior design, and fashion.
She is the wife of Count Carl-Eduard von Bismarck of Germany, the great-great grandson of German Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck. Currently, the countess is also writing a film about her husband’s grandmother, Princess Ann-Mari von Bismarck.
“She saved 20,000 Swedish refugees [of all backgrounds during the Holocaust],” the countess said.
The couple, who has two children, resides between New York, London, and the family castle outside of Hamburg. In addition to representing her husband in society, working on her own businesses and raising children, Von Bismarck is also involved in numerous philanthropic activities.
Earlier this year, she was approached by Prince Alexander zu Schaumburg-Lippe, a member of the Hadassah Germany Board of Governors and initiator and patron of the Hadassah Project, “Poorest of the Poor,” who asked her to consider becoming involved with Hadassah. The prince is a good friend that Von Bismarck trusts and his suggestion resonated with her. She was subsequently approached by other Hadassah dignitaries.
She has since joined the Hadassah leadership in Germany and Europe and has agreed to represent Hadassah as Honorary Senator for the organization.
After attending, with her mother, the festivities celebrating Hadassah’s centennial anniversary, Von Bismarck said she was excited to convey the message about Hadassah around the world.
“I am ready to help in any kind of way,” she said. “I don’t mind being like an octopus, [reaching out] in all different kinds of directions.”