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Red plaid handkerchief used in the Warsaw ghetto

Object | Accession Number: 2008.228.5

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    Red plaid handkerchief used in the Warsaw ghetto
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    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Handkerchief used in the Warsaw ghetto and in the Bindermichl displaced persons camp by Irena Ehrlich vel Sluszny, her parents, Felicia and Seweryn, and younger sister, Danuta, were confined to the Warsaw ghetto in 1940. In March 1943, 19 year old Irena escaped to the Christian sector of Warsaw. April 1943 brought the Warsaw ghetto uprising and its violent suppression by the Germans, with mass deportations of all Jews in Warsaw and the annihilation of the ghetto. Her father, aged 39, was killed during the uprising. Her mother and 14 year old sister escaped and were hidden for the rest of the war by Juana Dylag. Irena was deported to a slave labor camp in Berlin. Felicia, Danuta, and Irena were reunited in Warsaw after the war. From 1945-1947, they were in the Bindermichl displaced persons camp in Linz, Austria. They emigrated to the United States on the SS Marine Perch in 1947.
    Date
    use:  1940-1947
    Geography
    use: Warsaw (Poland)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Irena Urdang deTour
    Contributor
    Subject: Irena Urdang DeTour
    Biography
    Irena de Tour was born in 1924 in Warsaw, Poland, the daughter of Seweryn Ehrlich vel Sluszny and Felicja Lubelczyk Ehrlich. She had a younger sister, Danuta, born in 1929. Irena attended the Perla Lbinska Gimnazjum. In September 1939, Germany invaded Poland. Irena and her family were confined to the Warsaw ghetto in November 1940, where she worked in an Electropol factory. Irena escaped the ghetto to the Christian section of Warsaw in March 1943 and acquired false documents and work as a maid. Following the suppression of the Warsaw ghetto uprising that year, Irena was sent to a slave labor camp in Berlin, along with her aunt. She was assigned to work in the Schwartzkopf ammunition factory. In September 1944, Irena joined the underground resistance - building barricades, organizing shelters, and working for the Red Cross. After the war ended in May 1945, Irena walked to Warsaw to search for family members. Her father had died in the Warsaw ghetto uprising. But she found her mother and sister and, together, they were placed in Bindermichl displaced persons camp in Linz, Austria. Irena worked for the United Nations Refugee Relief Agency (UNRRA) as an interpreter and secretary. In 1947, the family emigrated to the United States on the SS Marine Perch and settled in New York City. Irena graduated from Hunter College in 1956. She has two children and runs an antique business in Connecticut.

    Physical Details

    Classification
    Dress Accessories
    Category
    Handkerchiefs
    Object Type
    Handkerchiefs (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Handkerchief with a multi-colored, plaid design with hemmed edges and a red border.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 9.750 inches (24.765 cm) | Width: 9.750 inches (24.765 cm)
    Materials
    overall : cloth, dye

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The handkerchief was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2008 by Irena Urdang de Tour, the daughter of Felicia and Seweryn Ehrlich vel Sluszny.
    Record last modified:
    2023-07-19 12:17:31
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn42155

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