Holocaust survivor to speak at Judson March 21
Holocaust survivor Marion Blumenthal Lazan will give a lecture on her memoir Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story March 21 at 11:00 a.m. in Alumnae Auditorium on the Judson College campus in Marion, Ala.
After the lecture, there will be a book signing from 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Gladys H. Dunkin Parlors in Jewett Hall.
Following Hitler’s rise to power in 1938, five-year old Marion Blumenthal and her Jewish family (parents and brother) fled Germany for a refugee camp in Holland. They had visas for the United States and tickets for an ocean crossing, but just before their scheduled departure from Rotterdam, Germany invaded Holland. For the next six and a half years, the Blumenthals were forced to lived in refugee, transit, and prison camps, including Westerbork in Holland and Bergen-Belsen in Germany.
The Blumenthals survived the war and were liberated from the “Family Camp” at Bergen-Belsen in 1945, but her father died of typhus several months later. Marion and her mother and brother traveled to Peoria, Illinois, in 1948. Marion was thirteen. On her voyage to the United States, Marion read and closely identified with The Diary of Anne Frank. (Frank had also spent time at Westerbork and had died at Bergen-Belsen.)
Marion entered 4th grade at age thirteen but quickly advanced through grade school in Peoria, learning English from her school studies, movies, radio, and, later, her correspondence with a young college sophomore, Nathaniel Lazan. She married Lazan at age 18 and moved with him around the United States as he served in the Air Force.
Lazan began speaking publicly about the Holocaust 1979 and published her memoir, Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story in 1996. Lazan says she was able to write about the devastating experiences that shaped her childhood “with God’s help.” Four Perfect Pebbles is in its 28th printing and is available in English, Dutch, German, Hebrew, and Japanese. It is widely used to teach students about the Holocaust and is considered a ‘complete’ Holocaust memoir because of its reliance on perspectives from other surviving members of Lazan’s family, not just from young Marion. “Life for me today is rich, full and rewarding, especially when speaking to and with young adults,” says Lazan. The Judson community is proud to welcome Lazan to campus.
The lecture and book signing are free and open to the public. For more information about the event, contact Dr. Laura Schrock, Chair of the Concert/Lecture Committee, at 334.683.5160. For more information about Lazan or Four Perfect Pebbles, visit Lazan’s website, www.fourperfectpebbles.com.