Ida Szczupakiewicz

Ida Szczupakiewicz

Born: May 15, 1930

Malkinia, Poland

Ida was the oldest of three children born to a Jewish family in northeastern Poland in Malkinia, a town situated on the right bank of the Bug River. Ida's father was a grain merchant and her family lived in the same house that her grandfather had owned.

1933-39: Ida was 9 when Germany invaded Poland. At once her family hid on some nearby farms but a few weeks later they returned home. When their neighbor, her father's best friend, became a Nazi informant, her father had them each pack a small bag--they were going to Ida's uncle's house in the Soviet zone. Her father felt it would be better to go to the Soviet side. Luckily their town was on the border between German- and Soviet-controlled Poland.

1940-44: Ida's family stayed with her uncle for a few months but it was so crowded they had to leave. They decided to go east. The Soviets packed them in cattle cars and for 16 days they rode in the freezing cold. They were given water, but when they asked for food they were always told, "Next station." Finally they arrived in Sverdlovsk, in the Urals. They were herded into large halls and given food and told that things would be like "heaven." Later, they were sent to a logging camp with one-room shacks and no fuel. Ida's parents were put to work at the logging camp.

Ida and her family spent the rest of the war in the Soviet Union, where her sister Bessie and brother Josef were born. In 1951 Ida immigrated to the United States.

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