Ida Straus, born Rosalie Ida Blun (February 6, 1849 – April 15, 1912) was an 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.
Rosalie Ida Blun was born in 1849 in Worms, Germany to Nathan Blun (1815–1879) and his wife Wilhelmine "Mindeell" 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.
The couple was considered especially close by their friends and family; when Isidor was forced to travel as part of his duties as a U.S. Representative for New York or as co-owner of Macy's, they exchanged letters daily.
Ida spent the winter of 1911 in Europe with her 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.
Death and legacyEditOn 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 so as long as 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. In the film, they were last seen lying on their bed in their stateroom, where the water was slowly rushing in. They perished together there. In real life, Isidor and Ida were last seen alive on the boat deck sitting on a pair of deck chairs (not lying in bed like in the movie), holding hands before a large wave dragged them into the sea.
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.
Only Isidor's body was recovered and identified. 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."
- Ida Straus on Wikipedia
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