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Luba Krugman Gurdus portfolio

Identifier: 2019-008-h-r

Scope and Contents

The sixteen 10' x14' lithographs reflect Luba Krugman-Gurdus's six years of the Holocaust in ghettos and Majdanek concentration camp. The portfolio includes a heartrending introduction and text, describing the lithographs, printed in sepia on heavy tan sheets. The original art works of Gurdus is widely exhibited in the United States and Israel, in public institutions and private collections. The sixteen works, selected for the portfolio, traveled to the American Jewish Congress, throughout the United States, and now part of the permanent collection of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.


  • 1949 - 1949


1 Item

Language of Materials



The portfolio of lithographs reflect the indelible impressions of an artist and witness who survived six years of the Holocaust in ghettos and camps of Poland.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Deborah Rosenthal Zimmerman. In memory of Rabbi and Mrs. Norbert L. Rosenthal


Luba Krugman was born on August 1, 1914, in Bialystok, Poland, to Jewish parents, Tewja and Anna Krugman. The family settled in Warsaw. In 1930, she attended art school in Lausanne, Switzerland. The next year, she went to Berlin, Germany, to study at the Academy of Fine Arts and Reimannschule for Applied Art. Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, and that year Luba returned to Warsaw. Luba was an editor and illustrator at Bluszek Publishing. She married Jacob Gurdus in 1935. She began working Stybel Publishing, owned by her brother-in-law Abraham Joseph Stybel. Luba and Jacob had a son, Robert Michael, born on August 24, 1938, in Warsaw.

On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland. Warsaw was occupied on the 29th. On November 23, Jews were required to wear white armbands with blue Stars of David to separate them from the general population. Schools were closed, property confiscated, and Jewish males were conscripted for forced labor. Luba and her family and all the city’s Jews were confined to a walled in ghetto in fall 1939. Food was scarce and disease was widespread. By December 1941, Luba and her son had gone to Brody Male near Lublin, and then to Zwierzyniec. Her son died of diphtheria on September 12, 1942. Luba’s parents also died. Luba was interned at Majdanek concentration camp.

The war ended in May 1945. Luba and her younger sister Mira emigrated to Palestine in 1946. Luba worked for Yedioth Publications and established a woman’s magazine, L’Ischa. She resumed her art career and created a series of drawings about her Holocaust experiences which were exhibited in Israel and, later, the United States. In 1948, she left for New York on the Marine Carp, arriving on January 7. She rejoined Stybel Publishing. She had been separated during the war from her husband Jacob, who had served in a Jewish Unit of the British Eighth Army. Luba received a doctorate in art history from New York University in 1962 and later joined the Research department of the Frick Art Library. In 1978, she published “The Death Train” an illustrated account of her experiences. Luba, 97, died on December 6, 2011.

Physical Description

This item is in good condition.
Finding Aid for They didn't live to see
Tiana Taliep
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Oskar Schindler Archives Repository