Anne Gouttman (Entenberg)
Anne (Anna) Gouttman (nee Entenberg), my beloved wife, soul mate and confidante has passed away at the age of 80. I and our daughter Sonia, have no words to convey the depth of the loss we feel. We remain numb. All those who knew her, from near and far, attest to the fact she was a wonderful person and have said they will miss her terribly as we already do.
Whenever she could, right up to her death, Anne was an ever giving person both with charity and genuine advice of which so many were the recipient. She was a grand hoarder of information on all manner of subjects in case it might be useful in the future. This information was more than willingly shared with others when interests or passions coincided. This especially with regards Italy and particularly its city of Florence where she spent three years after World War II before migrating from there with her survivor mother to Australia.
The welfare of others and their families was an abiding concern. On the other hand, trapped in the trauma of her early Holocaust history, she had her demons. Ever self-deprecating if anything went wrong in her life, or if there was a fracture in relationships with others, it was always her fault even when it was patently obvious that it wasn’t. As a child survivor of the Holocaust she always felt there were others more worthy than herself. No doubt harking back to her deeply personal experiences of the Shoah, separation was something she found extremely hard to tolerate.
Many of her friends well knew Anne long before I met her on the campus of the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University where we married. She treasured her many friendships made at school, in the Betar youth movement and from later life. These contacts were forever and, wherever possible, she strove to keep them.
Anne and I wanted to reach at least a half century together. But we were robbed by that by just over a year. Along our lives’ path we regarded ourselves always as a team in all things. Joined by our daughter, even far-way in Israel, we were an unbreakable team. Some might well say Anne and I were an odd couple given our quite distinctive backgrounds, but we absolutely gelled. She was my wife, best friend, and unimpeachable confidante. Fluent in several languages she was my own professional editor. On returning from Israel, Anne joined a university qualification in Italian interpreting and translation to that in psychology. Whenever we disagreed in our personal lives or intellectual attitudes, it was always done within the bounds of our love and common understanding.
Anne suffered the last twenty years with life threatening illnesses adding to the challenges she faced in her very early years. Against both our wishes, she sadly did not go gently into the night.
As said, both Sonia and I have no words to describe how we fully feel about our lost wife and mother. Emotions are too raw and will ever be thus. She is irreplaceable but will always be present influencing how we should see the world and conduct our lives.