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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Claiming My Place: Coming of Age in the Shadow of the Holocaust

Claiming My Place: Coming of Age in the Shadow of the Holocaust

Planaria Price with Helen Reichmann West; read by Ilyana Kadushin

Macmillan Young Listeners

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"[Narrator Ilyana Kadushin] presents a perfectly paced narration and crafts just the right tones for the emotions this serious and inspiring memoir requires." — Booklist

A Junior Library Guild selection

Claiming My Place is the true story of a young Jewish woman who survived the Holocaust by escaping to Nazi Germany and hiding in plain sight.

Meet Barbara Reichmann, once known as Gucia Gomolinska: smart, determined, independent, and steadfast in the face of injustice. A Jew growing up in predominantly Catholic Poland during the 1920s and ’30s, Gucia studies hard, makes friends, falls in love, and dreams of a bright future. Her world is turned upside down when Nazis invade Poland and establish the first Jewish ghetto of World War II in her town of Piotrko´w Trybunalski. As the war escalates, Gucia and her family, friends, and neighbors suffer starvation, disease, and worse. She knows her blond hair and fair skin give her an advantage, and eventually she faces a harrowing choice: risk either the uncertain horrors of deportation to a concentration camp, or certain death if she is caught resisting. She decides to hide her identity as a Jew and adopts the gentile name Danuta Barbara Tanska. Barbara, nicknamed Basia, leaves behind everything and everyone she has ever known in order to claim a new life for herself.

Writing in the first person, author Planaria Price brings the immediacy of Barbara’s voice to this true account of a young woman whose unlikely survival hinges upon the same … More…

"[Narrator Ilyana Kadushin] presents a perfectly paced narration and crafts just the right tones for the emotions this serious and inspiring memoir requires." — Booklist

A Junior Library Guild selection

Claiming My Place is the true story of a young Jewish woman who survived the Holocaust by escaping to Nazi Germany and hiding in plain sight.

Meet Barbara Reichmann, once known as Gucia Gomolinska: smart, determined, independent, and steadfast in the face of injustice. A Jew growing up in predominantly Catholic Poland during the 1920s and ’30s, Gucia studies hard, makes friends, falls in love, and dreams of a bright future. Her world is turned upside down when Nazis invade Poland and establish the first Jewish ghetto of World War II in her town of Piotrko´w Trybunalski. As the war escalates, Gucia and her family, friends, and neighbors suffer starvation, disease, and worse. She knows her blond hair and fair skin give her an advantage, and eventually she faces a harrowing choice: risk either the uncertain horrors of deportation to a concentration camp, or certain death if she is caught resisting. She decides to hide her identity as a Jew and adopts the gentile name Danuta Barbara Tanska. Barbara, nicknamed Basia, leaves behind everything and everyone she has ever known in order to claim a new life for herself.

Writing in the first person, author Planaria Price brings the immediacy of Barbara’s voice to this true account of a young woman whose unlikely survival hinges upon the same determination and defiant spirit already evident in the six-year-old girl we meet as this story begins. The final portion of this narrative, written by Barbara’s daughter, Helen Reichmann West, completes Barbara’s journey from her immigration to America until her natural, timely death.

This program includes an afterword read by Helen Reichmann West

Less…

Becoming Basia


I’m running from death

Looking over my shoulder

Heading straight for Her arms

—Helen Reichmann West, “Ouroboros”

1942

At long last the train is pulling out...

Reviews from Goodreads

Planaria Price with Helen Reichmann West; read by Ilyana Kadushin

Planaria Price has published six textbooks with McGraw-Hill and University of Michigan Press. She met the then-90-year-old Gucia Gomolinska in 2006, interviewed her at length, and conducted extensive historical and social research in order to write Claiming My Place.

Helen Reichmann West is a psychoanalyst and the daughter of Gucia Gomolinska. She lives in Washington, DC.

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Angela and Ithyle

Planaria Price