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Rien où poser sa tête

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  4,162 ratings  ·  652 reviews
En 1921, Françoise Frenkel, une jeune femme passionnée par la langue et la culture françaises, fonde la première librairie française de Berlin, "La Maison du Livre".
Rien où poser sa tête raconte son itinéraire : contrainte en 1939 de fuir l'Allemagne, où il est devenu impossible de diffuser livres et journaux français, elle gagne la France, où elle espère trouver refuge.
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published October 15th 2015 by Gallimard (first published 1945)
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Ann She wrote the memoir right after the war. Maybe it was just too painful to write about, knowing he died at Auschwitz.
Stephen Savage The version on (read by Jilly Bond) is wonderful – excellent French pronunciation, and really PERFORMED, not just read. Also available str…moreThe version on (read by Jilly Bond) is wonderful – excellent French pronunciation, and really PERFORMED, not just read. Also available streaming at most public libraries. (less)
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
This autobiography/memoir was recently rediscovered. It is a treasure and so incredibly powerful.

In the 1920s, Francoise Frenkel is a Jewish woman born in Poland and now living in Berlin. She opens a French bookshop, Berlin’s first of its kind. It’s not just any bookshop, though. Intellectuals meet here until the Nazis begin to gain more control.

Then come the rules and laws, more police visits to the shop, and finally, books are taken away.

In 1938, Kristallnacht happens. Hundreds of Jewish busi
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
BBC Radio 4-Book of the Week
"No Place to Lay One's Head" by Francoise Frenkel

This is a review of a BBC Radio Broadcast.

This wartime memoir was published in 1945. Rediscovered in a flea market in Nice in 2010, we get to travel with Francoise Frenkel on her quest to escape persecution and travel to safety.

Polish born Francoise, of Jewish descent, was educated in France. She loved books, gently caring for them. In 1921, she opened a French bookstore in Berlin. The bookstore was frequented by women,
Anne (On semi-hiatus)
“I don’t know exactly when I first felt the calling to be a bookseller. As a very young girl, I could spend hours leafing through a picture book or a large illustrated tome. My favorite presents were books.… For my sixteenth birthday, my parents allowed me to order my own bookcase.”

These are the words of Francoise Frenkel, a Jewish woman born in Poland, who opened a French bookshop in Berlin prior to WW11 and then survived a harrowing journey of escape to Switzerland during the war. This short
Nov 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am giving this book 4 stars — 3 stars for the writing and one additional star for how this book saw the light of day — pretty amazing and interesting.

This memoir is about a Jewish woman born in Poland who goes to Berlin with her husband and sets up a French bookshop (Maison du Livre français) soon after WWI (1921). Then fast forward (which the book does) to Kristalnicht in 1938 when things rapidly go to hell in a handbasket and her fleeing to Paris and then hiding in various places in France (
This is a non-fiction book. I just cannot get myself into this book. I normally love books written about people escape from the Nazis. I am not saying this book is bad, but I am just saying it was not a book for me. I was very excited about this book, and I was sad it was not a book for me. I won an arc of this book from a goodreads giveaway. This is just my opinion. (*)
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Françoise Frenkel always loved books, libraries, and especially bookstores.

Her dream was to open a bookstore, but would her dream about opening a French bookstore in Berlin in 1920 be a good idea?

She was successful until 1935 when the police started showing up and confiscating books from her shelves and newspapers because they had been blacklisted.

Besides scrutinizing her books, they questioned her travels. This was just the beginning of her hardships and ordeals.

Fittingly, I finished reading this on Sunday, which was International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Even after seven decades, we’re still unearthing new Holocaust narratives, such as this one: rediscovered in a flea market in 2010, it was republished in French in 2015 and first became available in English translation in 2017.

Born Frymeta Idesa Frenkel in Poland, the author (1889–1975) was a Jew who opened the first French-language bookstore in Berlin in 1921. After Kristallnacht and the seizure of

Description: Francoise Frenkel's real life account of flight from Berlin on the 'night of broken glass', is abridged in five parts by Katrin Williams and translated by Stephanie Smee.

The author had a thriving bookshop in Berlin, selling French editions, newspapers and magazines. Society types and celebrities would drop by to browse, buy and socialise. Then 1935 heralded a dark dawn..

Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is an amazing story. It is very well written and reads very smoothly for a true diary account. It is a slightly different perspective from the Nazi holocaust, but not any less poignant.

Note: I was given a complimentary hard copy by the publisher for an honest review.
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I read this for a book club. It was fine. I always feel bad rating memoirs poorly, especially when they deal with serious subject matter, but this was pretty forgettable for me. There's nothing wrong with it but I just think there are better memoirs out there.

I think it's also worth noting that this has very little to do with a bookshop. This isn't a book about books, which I thought it might be when I went into it. The author had started a bookshop when she had to go into hiding. Most of the b
Diane S ☔
Dec 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-2019
3.5 thoughts soon.
Lori Keeton
3.5 stars

The title of this drew me in right away and the fact that it was a lost memoir found added to the intrigue, so naturally I had to read it as WW2 has been a favorite topic for years. Each memoir is unique and I believe that is what makes the stories important to read. No one person lived the exact same experience. In A Bookshop in Berlin, Francoise Frenkel tells her story of how a Polish woman of Jewish descent turns her passion for French literature into her dream of owning a French boo
Maine Colonial
As a young woman from Poland studying in Paris after World War I, Francoise Frenkel decided that she was destined to be a bookseller, ideally a seller of French books. Upon discovering that there were no French bookstores in Berlin, she set up shop there. Her brief success was snuffed out by the arrival of the Nazi regime. Prevented from returning to her family in Poland, Frenkel, who was Jewish, fled to France.

Despite the title, little of this book is about Frenkel’s Berlin bookshop. The bulk o
A hard to put down book. I feel so connected to those who lived through this time period. Reading their memoirs makes my life better and gives me a deeper appreciation for my freedoms. I also love to read of the angels on earth who love, help, and support others without judgement and giving the best of their time and resources without thought of pay. God still lives in our daily lives through our willingness to serve and keep the second commandment.

I highly recommend this book. It’s squeaky cle
Philippe Malzieu
Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
It is a story like Nemirovski. A text found by chance. This is a story tipically mittel-Europa. A Russian Jewish young woman, fascinated by french littérature who became bookseller in Berlin. Many french author visited her (Colette, Gide...). An Wolfie uncle arrived in 1930. Exile, Paris, Nice, Helvetia.
The account of her life was published discretly in 1945 by an small editor and after nothing.
One book in bad states was found at a secondhand bookseller by chance. Modiano was enthused over it.
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Oh, the memory of the emergence of a leader with the face of an automaton, a face so deeply marked by hate and pride, dead to all feelings of love, friendship, goodness, or pity. ..” (p. 31)

Françoise Frenkel’s A Bookshop in Berlin has a long and circuitous publication history. First published in Switzerland in French in 1945 as Rien où poser sa tête (No place to rest her head), it soon became out-of-print and apparently forgotten until its rediscovery in 2010, reissued in France with an introdu
From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the Week:
Francoise Frenkel's real life account of flight from Berlin on the 'night of broken glass', is abridged in five parts by Katrin Williams and translated by Stephanie Smee.

The author had a thriving bookshop in Berlin, selling French editions, newspapers and magazines. Society types and celebrities would drop by to browse, buy and socialise. Then 1935 heralded a dark dawn..

Read by Samantha Spiro

Producer Duncan Minshull.
"It is the duty of those who have survived to bear witness to ensure the dead are not forgotten, nor humble acts of self-sacrifice left unacknowledged.
May these pages inspire a reverent thought for those for ever silenced, fallen by the wayside or murdered."

The above quote is in the Foreward of A Bookshop in Berlin: The Rediscovered Memoir of One Woman's Harrowing Escape from the Nazis by Francoise Frenkel and translated by Stephanie Smee.

The original title of this memoir is Rein ou poser sa t
Kayla TM
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
Rediscovered in an attic in 2010, the memoir of Françoise Frenkel is the story of a Polish-born Jewish woman’s journey to avoid the Nazis during World War II. It begins with a bookshop Françoise opens in Berlin: a store that caters to French literature and has a good following before the Nazis begin destroying the businesses of Jewish people. Fearing for her safety, Françoise flees to France. Soon, the German army overtakes France and Françoise is forced to hide and attempt to flee to Switzerlan ...more
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When a major publisher offers me a newly translated World War II memoir for review, I sit up and take notice. I was also inclined to read it because the author was a Jewish bookstore owner. A title like A Bookshop in Berlin implies that it delivers a first hand perspective on the Nazi persecution of Jewish owned stores before the Holocaust began. This sounded like it could be a riveting perspective. So I accepted a free copy of this memoir by Françoise Frenkel.

When I started this book, I wanted
Benjamin baschinsky
DNF. Perhaps I have read too many books about World War II. It just didn't do anything for me. Highly subjective. ...more
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Françoise Frenkel experienced many harrowing years in France during WWII. She recounts those events in a very personal tone. I felt much as if she was walking beside me whispering her story to me.

After previous failed attempts she finally made her way across the border to Switzerland where she sets down her story. Her writing is in no way dramatic as her circumstances would have dictated, just her story in her own words. No flourishes whatsoever.

Having spent years in hiding, shuffling from plac
Mar 09, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This was just okay for me. It was Nonfiction - WWII - Autobiography. First the title was misleading and it didn't fit this book at all. It wasn't about a bookshop or about Berlin. This was written by a Jewish woman who did at one time own a bookshop in Berlin. She had an interesting story to tell as she struggled to survive WWII and I appreciated the French history in this and the descriptions of the French people. So many were quick and eager to help, even with the threat of the Nazis looming o ...more
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars! A beautiful memoir of a Polish Jewish woman who opens a French bookshop in Berlin in 1921.
Originally published as No Place to Lay One’s Head, it was found in Nice at a charity jumble sale. The author escapes Berlin for Avignon and then Nice. Her goal is to reach Switzerland but that takes years of hiding in fear that she will be sent to the camps.
Highly recommended!
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michael by: Chat 10 Looks 3
I have seen a lot of comparisons between Françoise Frenkel’s memoir and Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky. They both depict the struggles of living in Nazi occupied France for a Jewish woman and both were works that were found by chance and published. I am yet to read Suite Française, although it sits on my shelf quietly waiting, so I am unable to speak to any more similarities. No Place to Lay One’s Head (Rien où poser sa tête) was originally published in 1945 with a limited run by the now de ...more
DeAnna Thames
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The standout book of the year. My mind and soul absorbed, “ A bookshop in Berlin” in 5 hours. I was left with renewed hope for the individuals ability to be compassionate in times seemingly devoid of hope. In turn I read the last word and immediately felt sadness that I couldn’t experience more of Francoise Frenkel , sadness that she ( someone I feel I would have been great friends with) struggled and lost so much and would never see how her words touched so many ( as I feel they will). Surely t ...more
Donna McCaul Thibodeau
Three stars with one added for it being a true story from World War II. The author owned a French bookshop in Berlin. When the persecution of Jews became rampant, she fled to France. This is the story of how she finally escaped to Switzerland. I didn't find the writing compelling but I had much admiration for the author and the trials she had to endure. ...more
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Very good and interesting, I just wish we knew more. Her husband? What was her life like "after"? ...more
The first title of this book was "No Place to Lay One's Head." That is a more apt title than "A Bookshop in Berlin" since very little of the book pertains to a bookshop in Berlin. It was an okay read about persecution during WWII, but there is really nothing new here that has not been in other WWII memoirs. ...more
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While I thought her experiences were interesting, I found myself wanting to know more. Who was her husband? What exactly happened to him? What happened to her after the war? I think the title is misleading and the original title of "No place to lay one's head" would have been a much more appropriate title for the book. ...more
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Françoise Frenkel (Frymeta, Idesa Raichenstein-Frenkel) est une libraire et écrivain polonaise.

Elle étudie la littérature à Paris, à la Sorbonne. Puis elle part pour Berlin où elle fonde en 1921 la première librairie française, "La Maison du Livre". Elle la tient avec son mari, Simon Rachenstein, d'origine russe.

Simon Rachenstein s'exile à Paris en 1933, tandis qu'elle reste jusqu'en août 1939 à B

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“The bitterness of this truth weighs on me still, and will to the end of my days.” 2 likes
“They implemented the Vichy regulations strictly and inexorably. These subservient men harbored a violent anger accumulated in the wake of the defeat, and it was as if they wanted to take it out on those weaker, less fortunate than themselves. There was nothing heroic about these agents of authority, not their job nor their approach.” 2 likes
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