Detachable knife used by an inmate in a slave labor camp

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Washington, United States

Knife from a silverware set used by Irena Ehrlich vel Sluszny in the slave labor camp in Berlin when she worked for the Schwartzkopf Fabrik in 1943. 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.


  • Title: Detachable knife used by an inmate in a slave labor camp
  • Provenance: The knife 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.
  • Subject Keywords: Jewish families--Poland--Warsaw--Biography. Jewish refugees--Austria--Linz--Biography. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Poland--Personal narratives. Slave labor--Germany--Berlin--Biography. World War, 1939-1945--Jews--Rescue--Personal narratives. World War, 1939-1945--Refugees--Austria--Personal narratives.
  • Type: Household Utensils
  • Rights: Permanent Collection
  • External Link: See the full record at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Medium: a. Silver colored blade, straight on one side, thinner on the other edge, and curved at the top, with a notched cylindrical joint extending from the base to insert into the handle (b). b. Silver colored handle with a ridged pattern and floral design with a hole for connecting to the blade (a.)

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