Books in English: My Story: Gemma LaGuardia Gluck
edited 1961 by S. L. Shneiderman
Born in 1881 in New York City, Gemma La Guardia Gluck was the daughter of
Italian immigrants, a mother of prestigious Italian Jewish lineage and a father
who became a U.S. army bandleader. 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. Eichmann and Himmler ordered
her arrest as a political hostage because she was La Guardia's sister. Gluck
recounts the plight of Budapest's Jews, deportation to Mauthausen with her
husband, imprisonment at the notorious Ravensbrück women's concentration camp,
and difficulties as a DP in post-war Berlin. With compassion and sensitivity she
chronicles unspeakable evil, kindness at great risk, and courage among women in
a pre-feminist world. She also recalls her girlhood years spent in the Old West,
Native Americans befriended by her mother, her family's return to Europe, and
her brother's ambitions and rise to success.
Gemma's memoir is a story of
a wise and strong woman who remained optimistic and resourceful, even when life
was much less than fair.
The book, "My Story" (1961), was updated and
republished (2007) with a new title, "Fiorello's
Sister: Gemma LaGuardia Gluck's Story".