Gemma La Guardia Gluck
Newly Expanded Edition Edited by Rochelle G. Saidel
A significant memoir of Holocaust, American, and European history,
and an intimate glimpse into the life and times of a fabled family.
Read a review of a Fiorello’s Sister in The Jewish Book Word (PDF), Winter 2007
Read a review of Fiorello’s Sister in The Jewish Daily Forward
"A portrait of a remarkable woman who persevered through tragic circumstances."
Born in 1881 in New York City, Gemma La Guardia Gluck was the daughter of an American army bandleader and European mother of aristocratic Italian Jewish lineage. She was the sister of beloved New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia. Gemma and her Hungarian Jewish husband were living in Budapest in 1944 when Nazi troops stormed the city. The Gestapo arrested her as a political prisoner because she was La Guardia’s sister.
Gluck recounts the plight of Budapest’s Jews, deportation to Mauthausen with her husband, and enslavement at Ravensbrück, a notorious concentration camp for women. With painful sensitivity she chronicles unspeakable evil, kindness at great risk, and courage among women in a prefeminist world. She also recalls her girlhood years spent in the Old West, Native Americans befriended by her mother, international travel with her father, and her brother’s ambitions and rise to success.
Her story, first published in 1961, has been out of print for decades. This revised edition contains a new prologue, epilogue, photos, and annotated material inspired by recently discovered notes and letters.
View other books in the Religion, Theology, and the Holocaust series
Rochelle G. Saidel is the author of The Jewish Women of Ravensbrück Concentration Camp. She is founder and director of Remember the Women Institute, a non-profit corporation dedicated to supporting research in women’s history.
5 1/2 x 8 1/2, 184 pages, 17 black-and-white illustrations, notes
Previously published in 1961 by David McKay