Silent Childhood

The Odyssey of a Jewish Family during the Holocaust

As a little girl growing up under the fast-darkening skies of wartime Europe, Sylvia (Sarah) Laufer looked to her parents and extended family for a way to make sense of the chaos and horror surrounding her world. For some time her loving family did indeed manage to cushion the blows, but then they were forced into hiding, and Sylvia's own little world filled with darkness too. It wasn't long before, one by one, Sylvia's grandparents, aunts, uncles, and finally her father disappeared, never to be heard from again... Soon it was just Sylvia and her little brother, together with their very young but valiant mother, alone in their fight for survival.

With incredible strength and courage, Sylvia's mother, Mrs. Frieda Laufer-David, refused to give up hope, and she singlehandedly raised her children amid these squalid and depressing conditions. Their challenges did not end at liberation, either. The new era ushered in struggles of a different nature, as Sylvia's mother sought to find stability for her small children in a world still reeling from years of death and destruction.

In Silent Childhood, Sylvia (Laufer) Richter relives her tumultuous childhood years spent in hiding and deprivation, as well as the period of rebuilding which followed the family's liberation. Written from the perspective of a young child, her memoirs are at once heart-wrenching, warm, and poignant.

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