The Only Holocaust Uniforms in San Diego

These Holocaust uniforms are believed to be the only ones in the San Diego area. The dress with the X belonged to Erna Goldschmied, whose granddaughter, Chula Vista resident Sandra Scheller, created the exhibit RUTH: Remember Us The Holocaust at the Chula Vista Library’s Heritage Museum (January 12 through December). Scheller has taught Holocaust awareness at about 90 percent of the schools in the South Bay. Another such volunteer is Sonia Fox-Olbaum, whose father’s Buchenwald uniform is pictured here too.

The dress will not be on exhibit, but Scheller will give free tours at the museum and have the dress with her to share her grandmother’s story: Goldschmied and her daughter were held prisoner at the Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, and finally Oederan concentration camps. Her dress was marked with an X every Friday so she would be quickly identified if she were to escape. After the war Goldschmied settled in a Jewish community in North Park. In 2018 her daughter, Ruth Sax, received an honorary degree from Southwestern College and finally celebrated her long-deferred bat mitzvah at the age of 90. She died that December, but her tale lives on as the subject of Scheller’s book, Try to Remember—Never Forget.

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