Claiming My Place: A True Story of Defiance, Deception, and Coming of Age in the Shadow of the Holocaust

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

Meet Gucia Gomolinska: smart, determined, independent, and steadfast in the face of injustice. Growing up in Poland in 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 descend upon Poland, establishing in her town of Piotrków Trybunalski the first Jewish ghetto of World War II. As the war escalates, Gucia watches friends and neighbors lose their livelihoods, their dignity, their lives.

She knows her blond hair and fair skin give her an advantage, and eventually she faces a harrowing choice: to risk the uncertain horrors of deportation to a concentration camp or the certain death if whe were caught resisting. She decides to assume a false identity as a gentile. Gucia changes her name to Danuta Barbara Tanska, nicknamed Basia, and leaves behind everything and everyone she has ever known. If she succeeds she will remain free; but if she fails she will perish.

Working from extensive interviews with her subject and in consultation with Basia’s daughter, Helen Reichmann West, author Planaria Price tells this incredible life story directly in the first person in an inspiring work of narrative nonfiction.

Hardcover, 272 pages
Published on March 13, 2018 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
ISBN-10: 0374305293
ISBN-13: 9780374305291
1 Book Review
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  • aj231561
    aj231561Sunday, May 3, 2020 at 10:57 am55 stars
    Very sad but action packed.