Ida Baehr Lang

Ida Baehr Lang

Born: February 2, 1909

Ruchheim, Germany

Ida was born to Jewish parents who owned a dry goods store in a small town in the Rhine River valley. As a teenager, Ida loved to bicycle with her cousin, Luise, in the scenic valley. After graduating from school, Ida helped her parents run the store. When she was in her early twenties, she married Fritz Lang, who owned a dry goods store in nearby Lambsheim, where they lived.

1933-39: Ida and Fritz have hired a housekeeper to help take care of their new baby girl, Freya, while Ida works in the store. More and more Jews are leaving Germany now that the Nazi party is in power. Her mother-in-law has sailed for New York with Fritz's brother, and her dear cousin, Luise, just called to wish Ida goodbye. Fritz is hesitant to give up his business, and Ida doesn't know how she could ever leave her parents.

1940-42: Ida, Fritz and 6-year-old Freya have already been deported to two detention camps in France. When they arrived at the camp at Gurs, it was winter--cold and rainy--and they had only straw to sleep on. Freya came down with a high fever and severe earache and almost died. Now, at Rivesaltes, where they've been moved, they have a chance to get Freya out of the camp to safety through an aid society that is arranging to hide children with French families in the countryside. Ida says goodbye to Freya through the barbed-wire fence.

In September 1942, a few days after Freya left the camp, Ida was deported to Auschwitz, where she perished. Freya survived the war and was reunited with her father in 1946.