A Childhood Unspoken

  • Introduction by: Dr. Lauren Faulkner Rossi
  • Pages:220
  • Publisher:The Azrieli Foundation
  • Series: The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs
  • Themes:Holocaust, memoir, history, Wartime, Nazi genocide
  • Available:01/17/2023

Mariette is only five years old when the Nazis invade her hometown of Brussels, Belgium, in 1940. Soon her family is torn apart, and Mariette and her siblings are scattered, hiding with non-Jews and in convents and orphanages or working for the resistance. Seeing violence and death all around her, Mariette learns the skills she needs to survive, especially how to stay silent. Mariette emerges from the war quick-thinking and fiercely independent. As she navigates the transition to an identity as Marie, an industrious and resourceful community member in North America, Mariette, the silent child, begins to find her voice.

"Mariette has always been a reluctant but powerful educator. Her memoir, A Childhood Unspoken, considers the nature of childhood memory, and follows Mariette’s transition from a hidden, silenced child, confronted with unimaginable loss, to a passionate community builder and leader. With candour, and at times with humour, Mariette speaks to the enduring effects of trauma and offers compelling insights into the capacity for resilience. Her reflections on the significance of documentation, education and remembrance in the aftermath of genocide are inspiring."

– Nina Krieger

"Marie Doduck’s memoir is an extraordinarily moving and unconventional account of a small child’s survival in the Holocaust and her gradual return to life in postwar Canada. Based on a collaboration with the historian Lauren Faulkner Rossi, A Childhood Unspoken collects the fragments of memory, many quite horrifying, of young Mariette during the war and follows her transformation in her new Vancouver home into Marie, an activist for Holocaust remembrance. At the core of this gripping memoir is the fraught relationship between the child who never recovered from her trauma and the grown woman who becomes a symbol of the ability to build a rich and meaningful life in the wake of catastrophe."

– Samuel Pisar