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Holocaust Survivor Oral Histories

From 2003 through 2013, Professor Uta Larkey from Goucher College (Baltimore, MD) conducted a class that required students to interview Baltimore-area Holocaust survivors.

Holocaust Survivor Interview

Biography

Ida Schmidt Chait was born Ida Rosenberg on October 30, 1931 in Warsaw, Poland. Her father, Israel, was a master tailor in Warsaw and her mother, Miriam, stayed home to take care of Ida and her sister. In 1939, when Germany invaded Poland, Ida and her family managed to escape to Minsk, Ukraine. After three months of hiding, soldiers of the Red Army discovered the family and sent the family with other Jews to Siberia. Ida and her family worked in the Gulag in Chyorny Yar, located in the Ust-Vymsky District of the Komi Republic (present-day Russia). In 1941, the Polish and Soviet governments signed the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement declaring “amnesty” for Polish citizens held captive in the USSR. However, it was not until 1943 that Ida and her family were released from the gulag and sent to Samarkand, Uzbekistan, until the end of the war.

In 1946, Ida and her family traveled to a displaced persons camp in Ulm, in the American Zone of occupied Germany. On September 25, 1949, Ida and her family emigrated New York City to stay with her two aunts who were already residents there. In 1951, Ida met her first husband, Abraham “Alfred” Schmidt, and they married on June 20, 1953. They had four children together, two sons and two daughters. Alfred died of cancer in 1983 and Ida married Irving Chait. Irving later passed away from cancer. Ida now resides in Pikesville, Maryland, and is a retired obstetrician and gynecology nurse who specialized in delivery.

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