The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

CNHI Specials

November 21, 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
CNHI Specials
  • barbour021614.jpg No shows escaped death by Craigslist killer

    The young woman who says she was driven by satanic spirts to commit a cross-country murder spree over the last six years says authorities are not taking her claims seriously and that she tried to lured other central Pennslyvania men into her death snare with online companionship ads but they didn't show up.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • ent_jimmyfallon.jpg Jimmy Fallon's 'Tonight Show' debut: Social media reacts

    Jimmy Fallon kicked off a new era on "The Tonight Show" Monday night and garnered mostly positive reviews. Here's a sampling of reaction on social media.

    February 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • b_tuesday_eisenhower_20110405sg3371.jpg Augusta National removes 'Eisenhower Tree' after ice storm

    A 65-foot tree named after the nation's 34th president on the 17th hole at Augusta National Golf Club was removed over the weekend after sustaining "irreparable damage" during an ice storm at the home of the Masters Tournament.

    February 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140218-AMX-GUNS171.jpg Will smart guns transform the gun industry?

    One of California's largest firearm stores recently added a peculiar new gun to its shelves. It requires an accessory: a black waterproof watch.

    February 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • ten-10-dollar-bill.jpg VIDEO: Groupon claims 'President Hamilton' promotion an intentional mistake

    Groupon says a President's Day promotion mis-identifying Alexander Hamilton as a U.S. President was an "intentional" humorous mistake.

    February 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Samoas, Thin Mints and business ethics

    But these lessons aren't learned when Scouts sell outside grocery stores or via mobile app, or, even worse, when parents ask their colleagues to purchase Girl Scout cookies, a query I recently received at a casual work lunch. My friend wasn't prepared for the lecture that followed. I'd be more than happy to buy cookies from his daughter, I said, but only if she called me on the phone to personally ask for the sale.

    February 15, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-02-14 at 12.27.23 PM.png VIDEO: Just how easy is it to buy a drone?

    Businesses can't wait for drone rules to be issued by the FAA. They really can't. Estimates on business drone usage are in the tens of thousands...and they're overwhelming the FAA, which is still trying to come up with rules for flying them.

    February 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen shot 2014-01-14 at 4.42.12 PM.png VIDEO: Man falls through golf shop ceiling; everyone plays it cool

    After a man falls through the ceiling of a professional golf shop both the patrons and the employees react as though everything is completely normal.

    January 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • ClarkTheCub.jpg Clark the Cub takes his place among pro sports' worst mascots

    The Chicago Cubs have broken 138 years of mascot-free tradition by introducing Clark the Cub, who will entertain young fans at Wrigley Field beginning this season. Judging from reaction on the Internet, Clark instantly deserves a place on the list of pro sports' worst mascots. Here are our ideas for some other entries.

    January 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 4.09.29 PM.png VIDEO: Texting crash caught on dash cam

    A 23-year-old Florida man admitted he was texting behind the wheel when his car veered off the road and crashed into a tree.

    January 14, 2014 1 Photo