PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Z_CNHI News Service

November 20, 2013

Holocaust survivor shares her story

JOPLIN, Mo. — As a child in Germany's Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Marion Blumenthal Lazan focused on finding four pebbles of the same shape and size. Success would mean that the four members of her family would survive the Nazi camp, she rationalized with a 9-year-old's innocence.



“This game gave me something to hold onto, some distant hope,” Lazan said Monday night. “I made it my business to find those four pebbles.”



Lazan, now 78, shared the memory from a camp in northwest Germany for several hundred people in a packed auditorium at Missouri Southern State University. It's a story she's told publicly for more than 30 years, and wrote about in a book, "Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story," published in 1996. It's a story that Lazan urged her audience - especially younger ones - to pass along as the number of Holocaust survivors dwindles.

“It is your generation that is the last generation that will hear these stories firsthand,” she said. “When we are not here anymore, it is you who will have to bear witness.”

Lazan was the younger child of a Jewish family living above its shoe store in Germany in the 1930s. The Blumenthals — father Walter, mother Ruth, son Albert and daughter Marion — received papers they needed to immigrate to the United States as the Nazi party began its crusade against the Jews. In 1939, they left for Holland, from where they would depart.



But, in May 1940, one month before they were scheduled to leave for the United States, the Germans invaded Holland. The family was trapped at Westerbork transit camp.

They remained there nearly four years, until January 1944, when they and other Jews were shipped out in cattle cars for a Nazi camp in eastern Europe. Lazan and the other young children were naively “glad for the change of environment,” she said. The adults feared what lie ahead.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Basketball stars may linger on campus a while longer

    The NBA seems serious about raising its minimum age, which could signal the end of the one-and-done era in college basketball.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • McCain 1 House Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats

    Your representative in the House is almost certainly on Twitter. Your senator definitely is. But how are they using the social network? Are Democrats more active than Republicans, or vice versa? Who has the most followers on the Hill?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 21, 2014

  • Do White Castle prices tell us anything about the minimum wage?

    The paper looked at how many delicious steamed sliders the minimum wage has been able to purchase over time. The point is that as it notes, in 1981, the $3.35 minimum could buy a whole dozen. Today, at $7.25, it could purchase just 10.

    April 21, 2014

  • VIDEO: Moose charges snowmobile, flees after warning shot

    While snowmobiling in New England, Bob and Janis Powell of Maine were charged by a moose and caught the entire attack on camera.

    April 21, 2014

  • Can Hillary Clinton rock the cradle and the world?

    What's most interesting to contemplate is the effect becoming a grandmother will have on Hillary's ambition. It's one of life's unfairnesses that a woman's peak career years often coincide with her peak childbearing years.

    April 21, 2014