Canada Reads·Highlight

Jeanne Beker on the stories of survival that stick with her

On Day Three, the Canada Reads 2018 panellist talks about her parents' accounts of surviving the Holocaust.
On Day Three, Canada Reads 2018 panellist Jeanne Beker talks about her parents' accounts of surviving the Holocaust. 2:25

On Day Three of Canada Reads 2018, Jeanne Beker, defending Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto, took time to share her personal connection to the story. She drew parallels between her parents' experiences as Holocaust survivors and that of Sakamoto's grandparents during the Second World War.

"My personal story is involved in this story because I am a child of Holocaust survivors. My mother was born in 1920, the exact same year Mark Sakamoto's own grandmother was born. My parents survived the war in Poland as Jews running from the Nazis. They painted nothing but dark pictures for me as a child growing up, telling me about their war experiences. I hid under the bed because I didn't want to hear anymore."

Beker, however, added that these kinds of stories, albeit dark, can teach us a lot.

"It is these stories that make us who we are and it is these stories we can glean so much from. And because this is a memoir, Mark Sakamoto's book tells the true story of two living, breathing people."


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.