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article imageThe great mystery of Roman Blum and his $40 million inheritance

By Jonathan Lam     Apr 30, 2013 in Odd News
Roman Blum is a successful real estate developer. But as he passes away he leaves New York's biggest inheritance in the hands of no one.
Roman Blum is a Holocaust survivor and passed away last year at the age of 97. He was left at the Staten Island University Hospital morgue for four days until the hospital was able to contact his lawyer.
Blum's whole life seems to be like a story book filled with holes and blank pages. He claims that he was from Warsaw, but the people who knew him said he came from Chelm, in southeast Poland. Blum's close friends report that Blum had a wife and child who both perished in the Holocaust. But all these cannot be proven because there is no evidence in the database. Blum's actual birth date is even at question. All the records died in the Holocaust.Records here give it as Sept. 16, 1914; identity cards from a German displaced persons camp have it as Sept. 15.
The greatest mystery of all is Roman Blum's reason to leave behind an estate that values almost $40 million to no one. Not even a penny in donation. A close friend and Holocaust survivor named Paul Skurka quotes, "He was a very smart man but he died like an idiot."
Currently,public administrator Gary D. Gotlin is handling the case. Gotlin has sold Blum's home on Staten Island and auctioned any jewelry and furniture he owned.
Gotlin has also hired a genealogist to track down any blood related family members Blum had. If they can't the money will go to the New York City's Department of Finance, where it will stay for three years.If still no heir comes forth after that, part of the estate is withheld while the rest goes into the state's general fund. All of it is returned if an heir emerges.
Though Blum's inheritance is in safe hands, the mystery still remains. Did Roman Blum purposely die without a will? Or did something happen that caused him to leave this world without ever getting the chance to even write his will?
More about Holocaust, Survivor, $40 million, Inheritance
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