A Childhood Unspoken

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 across the city and countryside, hiding with non-Jews and in convents and orphanages or working for the resistance. Watching violence and death all around her, Mariette learns the skills she needs to survive — how to throw a knife, jump from a moving vehicle and, most importantly, stay silent. Mariette emerges from the war quick-thinking, fiercely independent and ready to start a new life in Canada. As she navigates a transition to a new identity as Marie — an industrious and resourceful community member, mother and advocate for children’s rights — Mariette, the silent child, begins to find her voice.

Introduction by Lauren Faulkner Rossi

At a Glance
Belgium
Hiding
War Orphans Project
Arrived in Canada in 1947
Adjusting to life in Canada

216 pages

Recommended Ages
14+
Language
English

*Note: If you are affiliated with an educational institution, books can be ordered free of charge. For more information click here.

Photo of Marie Doduck

About the author

Marie (Mariette) Rozen Doduck was born in Brussels, Belgium, in 1935. She immigrated to Canada in 1947 as a war orphan with three of her siblings and settled in Vancouver. In 1955, she married her husband, Sidney, and raised three children. Marie has received awards for her community leadership work and activism. She is actively involved in Holocaust education and is a cofounder of the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre.

Eventually I forgot to eat; I got so used to being hungry that I was not aware of it. But I remember the taste of fear very well.