Luba Gurdus, née Krugman, was born in Bialystok to a Polish Jewish family. She attended art schools in Berlin and Warsaw before World War II. She married John Gurdus, with whom she had one son, Robert, who died during the Holocaust. Luba was sent by the Nazis to concentration camps, but survived and was reunited with her husband after the war. The couple emigrated to the USA, settling in New York City, where she earned a master's degree and then a Ph.D. in art history at New York University. She became an illustrator, writer, and art historian. She served as director of art research at French & Co. from 1956 to 1968 and as art researcher and historian at the Frick Art Reference Library from 1968 to 1978. She is also well-known for her memoir The Death Train (1991) and for her poems, one of which, "Majdanek," was included in the anthology Second World War Poems (2004).