In this paper, I first argue that as a second generation Romanian-American Jewish writer, Vlasopolos offers representations of what I call didactic motherhood in her memoir: a form of maternal care through which mothers explain past traumas to younger generations, highlighting the ways in which the past produces their current selves and arbitrating the transmission of trauma intra-generationally. Through the didactic function of mothers, Vlasopolos demonstrates that motherhood ensures Jewish women’s psychological and genealogical endurance in the face of Fascist and Communist anti-Semitism. The memoir also indicates that Jewish women’s personal motivation to become mothers stems from their needs to maintain a distinctive political and historical identity and to foster an awareness of a legacy that Fascism and Communism in Romania ignored altogether. In No Return Address, the maternal implicates the memoirist in two ways. First, Vlasopolos is a daughter, engaging in meaningful relationships with her mother and other “mother” figures who survived the Holocaust and Romanian Fascism (1923–1943). Second, the author is a mother in the timeframe of the writing act, responding disapprovingly to state anti-Semitism, state patriarchy, and her knowledge of Communism (1945–1989) mostly from her mother.

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