Martha Blum

  • "Dear Irene, I am so sorry to hear of your beautiful..."
    - Megan Brown
  • "Unfortunately, I only knew of Martha. I went to her recent..."
    - Carol Kavanagh
  • "Dear Irene: The news came to us as a shock as I thought..."
    - Edward Ewing
  • "Martha was a special person that we were honoured to know. ..."
    - Henry & Miriam Caplan
  • "With Martha's death all of us who knew her have lost a..."
    - Robert and Marian Moody

MARTHA BLUM 1913 2007 My beloved mother, Martha Blum, of blessed memory, died on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 23:50 (11:50 p.m.). She was born in Czernowitz Austria the second child of Dr. Abraham Guttmann and Mrs. Susi Guttmann nee Herschmann. Like her father and her brother Wilhelm, she became a pharmacist and a pharmacologist, studying in Prague at the Charles University (Karlsuniversitat), in Paris at the Institute Pasteur and obtained her Licence es Sciences from Strasbourg University in France. She spoke and wrote in German, French, Romanian, Yiddish, English and had an excellent knowledge of Spanish and Italian. She was and accomplished pianist and language coach for singers. Her knowledge of Pharmacy and Chemistry saved her life and that of her family many times during World War II when she was forced to do slave-labour by the persecutors of the Jewish people. After surviving the war, she immigrated to Israel with her husband, mathematician Richard Blum and young daughter Irene. After a year, she joined her mother and father in July 1951 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, entering Canada through one of its most important places, Pier 21. Her mother, Susi and father Abraham had also survived the war and joined Abraham's two brothers, Harry and Solomon Goodman who had immigrated in 1895. Halifax and its wonderful Jewish Community was a new beginning for all. After a year in Wolfville, Nova Scotia where her husband taught at Acadia University they moved to Saskatoon and the University of Saskatchewan, where Martha continued her work part-time as a community pharmacist and as an instructor for Dean McCauley at the Faculty of Pharmacy. At the same time, she embraced the musical, cultural and artistic life of Saskatoon. Of her many contributions and accomplishments, scientific, linguistic, musical, artistic and humanitarian, the two which stand out are her contribution to education about the Holocaust and her three published novels The Walnut Tree, Children of Paper, and The Apothecary, all published by Coteau Books. In November 2006, Martha received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Saskatchewan. The Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 16th, 2007 at Agudas Israel Synagogue (10th Street and McKinnon Ave.) with interment at Agudas Israel Cemetery and the Meal of Condolence following at the W.A. Edwards Family Centre (4th Ave. and 25th Street). Donations to Martha's memory may be made to the Saskatoon Jewish Foundation c/o Agudas Israel Synagogue or to the Persephone Theatre of Saskatoon. Email condolences may be sent to [email protected] Arrangements have been entrusted to SASKATOON FUNERAL HOME.
Published in The Saskatoon StarPhoenix from Dec. 14 to Dec. 15, 2007
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