Ida Straus

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Ida Straus
Rosalie Ida Blun Straus.jpg
Isidor and Ida Straus
Born Rosalie Ida Blun
(1849-02-06)February 6, 1849
Worms, Germany
Died April 15, 1912(1912-04-15) (aged 63)
RMS Titanic, Atlantic Ocean
Spouse(s) Isidor Straus (1871–1912)
Children Jesse Isidor Straus
Clarence Elias Straus
Percy Seldon Straus
Sara (Straus) Hess
Minnie (Straus) Weil
Hebert Nathan Straus
Vivian (Straus) Dixon

Ida Straus, born Rosalie Ida Blun (February 6, 1849 – April 15, 1912) was a German-American homemaker and wife of the co-owner of the Macy's department store. She and her husband Isidor died on board the RMS Titanic.

Early life[edit]

Rosalie Ida Blun was born in 1849 in Worms, Germany to Nathan Blun (1815–1879) and his wife Wilhelmine "Mindel" Freudenberg (1814–1868). She was the fifth of seven children including Amanda (1839–1907), Elias Nathan (1842–1878), Louis (1843–1927), Augusta Carolina (1845–1905), Moritz (1850–1858) and Abraham Blun (1853–1881). She emigrated to the United States with her family.[when?]

In 1871, Ida Blun married Isador Straus (1845–1912), a German-American businessman. She and Isador had seven children:

  • Jesse Isidor Straus (1872–1936) who married Irma Nathan (1877–1970), and served as U.S. Ambassador to France, 1933–1936
  • Clarence Elias Straus (1874–1876) who died in infancy
  • Percy Selden Straus (1876–1944) who married Edith Abraham (1882–1957)
  • Sara Straus (1878–1960) who married Dr. Alfred Fabian Hess (1875–1933)
  • Minnie Straus (1880–1940) who married Richard Weil (1876–1918)
  • Herbert Nathan Straus (1881–1933) who married Therese Kuhn (1884–1977)
  • Vivian Straus (1886–1974) first married Herbert Adolph Scheftel (1875–1914) and second, in 1917, married George A. Dixon, Jr. (1891–1956)
Wedding portrait

The couple was considered especially close by their friends and family; when Isidor traveled as part of his duties[clarification needed] as a U.S. Representative for New York or as co-owner of Macy's, they exchanged letters daily.

Ida spent the winter in Europe with her beloved husband Isidor. They originally planned to return home on a different ship but there was a coal strike in England and all the coal was being diverted to Titanic. That is why they were on the Titanic

Death and legacy[edit]

Isidore and Ida Strauss statues being blessed by an angel, "Sacrifices of the Ship Titanic," Yiddish penny song
The Titanic's Disaster, published in 1912

On the night of the sinking, Isidor and Ida Straus were seen standing near Lifeboat No. 8 in the company of Mrs. Straus's maid, Ellen Bird. Although the officer in charge of the lifeboat was willing to allow the elderly couple to board the lifeboat with Miss Bird, Isidor Straus refused to go while there were women and children still remaining on the ship. He urged his wife to board, but she refused, saying, "We have lived together for many years. Where you go, I go." Her words were witnessed by those already in Lifeboat No. 8 as well as many others who were on the boat deck at the time. Isidor and Ida were last seen standing arm in arm on the deck.

When the survivors of the disaster arrived in New York City aboard the RMS Carpathia, many, including Ellen Bird, told reporters of Mrs. Straus's loyalty and fidelity to her husband. Her story struck a chord with people around the world. Rabbis spoke to their congregations about her sacrifice; articles in Yiddish and German-language newspapers extolled her courage; a popular song featuring the story of Ida Straus, "The Titanic's Disaster", became popular among Jewish-Americans.

Although Isidor's body was recovered, Ida's body was not. A cenotaph at the Straus Mausoleum at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx is dedicated to Isidor and Ida together. Its inscription reads: "Many waters cannot quench love - neither can the floods drown it."[1] (Canticles 8:7)

Portrayals[edit]

Memorials[edit]

106th Street memorial

There are four memorials to Isidor and Ida Straus in their adopted home of New York City.

  • A memorial plaque is located in the 34th Street main entrance to Macy's Department Store in Manhattan. It was closed to the public after 2001 and used as a stockroom for many years. The entrance has 21-foot-high ceilings, a two-story granite arch and two brass plaques — one commemorating the deaths of Ida and Isidor Straus on the Titanic in 1912, and a second honoring employees who died in World War I. The "Memorial" entrance was reopened in November, 2013.
  • The Isidor and Ida Straus Memorial is located in Straus Park at the intersection of Broadway and West End Avenue at W. 106th Street (Duke Ellington Boulevard) in Manhattan.
  • New York City public school P.S. 198 in Manhattan is also named after the Strauses.
  • Isidor Straus's remains were recovered by the CS Mackay-Bennett and were buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. His gravestone also serves as a cenotaph for his wife.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Many Waters Cannot Quench Love" http://straushistoricalsociety.org/archives.php

External links and references[edit]