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Irena Urdang deTour Collection of Holocaust Materials

Identifier: 2006-0172

Scope and Content

The collection contains publications, announcements, conference materials, invitations, book reviews, obituaries and other items collected by Mrs. DeTour.


  • undated, 1975-2019


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.


Irena Urdang de Tour was born in Warsaw, Poland, the daughter of Seweryn Ehrlich vel Sluszny and Felicja (Lubelczyk) Ehrlich. In November 1940, she was confined, with her parents and sister Danuta, to the Warsaw Ghetto where she worked in an Electropol factory. She escaped the ghetto to the Christian section of Warsaw in March 1943, where she acquired false documents and worked as a maid. In September 1944 she joined the underground, building barricades, organizing shelters, and working for the Red Cross. Following the suppression of the uprising, she was sent to a slave labor camp in Berlin with her aunt who also possessed false documents. There she worked in the Schwartzkopf factory manufactoring war material. At the end of the war de Tour walked to Warsaw to search for family members. Her father had died in the Warsaw uprising, and she and her mother and sister were placed in the Bindermichl Displaced Persons Camp in Linz, Austria, where she worked for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration as an interpreter and secretary. In July 1946 the family left for New York City. De Tour was employed as a bookkeeper, secretary, buyer, and was a fiction and feature editor for Town and Country, Gourmet, and the Paris Review. In 1952 she married Laurence Urdang, a lexicographer; they had two daughters, Alexandra and Nicole. She received her B.A. from Hunter College in 1956. A writer and poet, de Tour also ran an antiques business for many years and was involved in a number of charitable organizations, including CARE.

Biographical information posted by the Jewish Women's Archive [accessed 6/8/2011].

Additional de Tour materials can be found at the Museum of Jewish Heritage; Jewish Women's Archive; and Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, among others.


9.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection contains a few personal materials pertaining to her experiences as well as publications, newsletters, invitations and other documents from Holocaust survivor and support organizations in the United States collected by Mrs. DeTour.


Series I: Biography (undated)

Series II: People (undated, 1991-2007)

Series III: Subjects (undated, 1981-2009)

Series IV: Organizations (Publications, calendars, correspondence) (undated, 1991-2009)

Series V: Conferences and Remembrances (1995-2009)

Acquisition Information

The materials in the collection have been donated periodically by Mrs. DeTour beginning in 2006.

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections has a substantial collection of materials pertaining to various aspects of Connecticut history. For detailed information on these collections please contact the curator or ask at the Reading Room desk.

Separated Material

The following materials have been separated from the collection and cataloged:

Blood Lines, Dodd A6802; Warsaw Ghetto, Dodd; The Last Word, Dodd; Hitler, Dodd; Who Will Write Our History, Dodd C12845; The Last Lullaby, Dodd C12844; The Avengers: a Jewish war story, Dodd C 12846; Prisoners of Hate, Dodd A13518; The Wall, Dodd A13519; Nothing Makes You Free, Dodd C12833; The Chimney Tree, Dodd C12834; Edith's Story, Dodd A13516; All But My Life, Dodd A13510; Mosaic: a chronicle of five generations, Dodd C12870; Echoes of Memory, vol. 2, Dodd A13748; A Tumultuous Journey Dodd C13444

Irena Urdang deTour Collection of Holocaust Materials
Archives & Special Collections staff
2009 November
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2014 February: Addition

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US