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Darning needle and case used in the Warsaw ghetto

Object | Accession Number: 2008.228.10 a- b

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    Darning needle and case used in the Warsaw ghetto


    Brief Narrative
    Darning needle used by Irena Ehrlich vel Sluszny and her family in the Warsaw ghetto. Irena, 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.
    use:  1940-1947
    use: Warsaw (Poland)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Irena Urdang deTour
    Subject: Felicia Ehrlich vel Sluszny
    Subject: Irena Urdang DeTour
    Felicia Lubelczyk was born in Poland in 1900. She had three sisters, Hala Halina, born in 1903, Malgosia, and Laduriga. She was married to Seweryn Ehrlich vel Sluszny, born in 1899, the son of Mojshe Ehrlich, a wealthy factory owner. Seweryn had a position as a saleman in his family's business, but was a well known man about town, pursuing his favored pastimes, horseback riding and poker playing. The family lived in Warsaw and had 2 daughters, Irena, born in 1924, and Danuta, born in 1929. Germany invaded Poland in September 1939 and, by November 1940, the family was confined to the ghetto. Nineteen year old Irena escaped the ghetto in March 1943. She obtained false papers and lived in the Christian area of the city. On April 19, 1943, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began, sparked by the increasing number of deportations to the concentration camps. It ended on May 16 and the ghetto was annihilated. Felicia's husband was killed during the insurrection. Felicia and Danuta managed to escape and were hidden for the remainder of the war by Juana Dylag and her husband, members of the underground Polish army. Following the end of the war in May 1945, Felicia and Danuta, were placed in Bindermichl displaced persons camp in Linz, Austria. They were reunited with Irena, who arrived at Bindermichl after learning that her family was there. Felicia's mother, Leokadia Lubelczyk, and many other family members were deported and, it is believed, killed in the concentration camps. Felicia and her daughters emigrated to New York on the transport ship, SS Marine Perch, in 1947, and settled in New York City. Felicia died in the Queens borough of New York City in 1983 at the age of 83.
    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

    Tools and Equipment
    Object Type
    Needle cases (aat)
    Physical Description
    Wooden cylindrical case for a darning needle. The metal needle is attached to the round top with a removable wooden cylindrical covering.
    a: needle
    b: case
    overall: Height: 4.000 inches (10.16 cm) | Width: 0.375 inches (0.953 cm)
    overall : wood, metal

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The darning needle 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:
    2022-07-28 21:56:15
    This page:

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