Obituaries for December 22, 2016


Henry Heimlich, inventor of maneuver to save choking victims, dies at 96

Henry Heimlich, who invented the life-saving technique to save choking victims, has died.

Heimlich died on Dec. 17 at a hospital in Cincinnati at the age of 96 from complications of a massive heart attack he suffered on Dec. 12.

Heimlich used the maneuver named after him in May to save a fellow resident at a Cincinnati retirement home where he lived, reportedly the first time he had used it to save a person’s life.

Heimlich published an article about the maneuver, using abdominal thrusts, in 1974. Prior to that, rescue guidelines called for blows to the back to dislodge the airway blockages. Heimlich believed this could further entrench the blockage. He said his maneuver has saved over 100,000 lives, according to The Washington Post.

In 1962, Heimlich invented the chest drainage flutter valve, which was also called the Heimlich valve.

In the 1980s and 1990s he was an advocate of malaria therapy, the deliberate infection of a person with benign malaria in order to defeat diseases such as cancer, disease and AIDS, saying the high fever associated with malaria would stimulate the body’s immune system. The therapy’s efficacy has never been proven.

He was born in Wilmington, Del., to Mary Epstein and Philip Heimlich. His paternal grandparents were Hungarian Jewish immigrants, and his maternal grandparents were Russian Jews.

He was married to Jane Murray, daughter of ballroom-dancing businessman Arthur Murray, who predeceased him. The couple had four children.

—JTA News and Features

Judith Klein

Judith Klein, 91, died peacefully at home after a short illness on Dec. 13.

Klein was born in Berlin to Heinrich and Irmgard Veit Simon on June 14, 1925. Following Kristallnacht, she found refuge in the United Kingdom under the Kinderstransport program. She married, at age 18, Henry Weill with whom she had three children, Michael, Margaret and David. That marriage ended in divorce. She began studying for a bachelor’s degree in economic history at the London School of Economics where she met her future husband, Thomas Klein. They married in June 1958 and moved to Silver Spring in 1959. They had two children, Richard and Edward.

Klein earned a master’s degree in economics from American University and then worked as a researcher with William Parker, of Yale, on a Ford Foundation-financed study of changing agricultural productivity in the antebellum South. She then worked for Robert Nathan Associates and later as an adjunct professor of economics at the University of Maryland. Her hobby was knitting, creating artistic designs as well as beautiful sweaters and socks. She was a charter member of the Museum for Women in the Arts and of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Klein is survived by her husband, Thomas; children Michael, Margaret and Edward (Melissa); grandchildren Stephen, Courtney (Christopher Doi), Melanie (Pascal Chautard) and Zachary; and great-grandchildren Meredith and Amelia.

Contributions may be sent to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW, Washington, DC, 20024 or to the National Museum for Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave., NW, Washington, DC, 20005.

Pauline Berliner

Pauline Berliner, 96, died on Dec. 11 in Boca Raton, Fla. She was born in Lublin, Poland, in 1920. She came to the United States as an infant because her father was fleeing from the Russian round-ups. The family settled in the Bronx, N.Y. She spoke only Yiddish until she entered kindergarten. In 1936, at age 16, she graduated from James Monroe High School and started a long and successful career.

Before World War II, Berliner and her husband, Jerry, moved to Washington where she worked and he enlisted in the Army. After the war, they started their own export business, putting Harmon Kardon and other American manufacturers on the map internationally. She traveled around the world by herself, meeting with business leaders in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

The couple moved their business and home to Boca Raton, Fla., to take care of her parents. Pauline Berliner lived in Florida for more than three decades, volunteering for many organizations after she retired.
Berliner is survived by her sons Mitchell Berliner (Debbie) and Guy Berliner (Bonnie), six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

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