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

Claiming My Place: Coming of Age in the Shadow of the Holocaust Audiobook, by Helen Reichmann West Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Helen Reichmann West, Planaria Price Narrator: Ilyana Kadushin Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2018 ISBN: 9781427294234
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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

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Quotes & Awards

  • “I was completely engrossed by this drama of survival. Barbara Reichmann’s story is quite extraordinary. It is sad, and terrible, and yet somehow captivating.”

    Kai Bird, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of American Prometheus

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About the Author

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

About the Narrator

Ilyana Kadushin was born in Miami and raised in the rural cornfields of Maryland. She attended the Tisch School of Arts in New York City and has performed in many theater productions. Kadushin wrote and performed a one woman multimedia musical called Devour the Apple. Her narration of In the Age of Love and Chocolate won an AudioFile Earphones Award.