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Holocaust Survivor Speaks to Students

By Staff | Nov 10, 2015

A Paden City Middle School student made a connection that brought a Holocaust survivor to the Ohio Valley. Through a school project intent on reaching out to survivors, Rachel Price contacted Marion Blumenthal

Lazan, a noted author

whose memoir “Four Perfect

Pebbles” relives her experiences

in Nazi concentration

camps.

“I felt like it was my duty to

learn more about what happened.

I found her website,

emailed her and then we talked

on the phone,” said Price, a

seventh-grader at Paden City

Middle School.

For more than six years, the

Blumenthal family was forced

to live in concentration camps

that included Westerbork in

Hol land and later Bergen-

Belsen, where tens of thousands

of people died including

a teenager named Anne Frank.

“The horrors of the Holocaust

did not cl ick at f i rst

because it seemed so unreal,

but after I did more and more

research, I became heartbroken

over the pain and anguish they

had to be going through,” Price

said.

Earlier this year, Price and

Lazan made a connection and

she agreed to visit West Virginia.

“I wanted others to know the

story of being a Holocaust survivor,”

Price said. “Not everyone

goes through pain like this

in their lives.”

Price worked closely with

Brittany Springer, a friend of

Price’s family, who is also a

middle school English teacher

at Cameron Middle School.

Springer contacted Lazan and

coordinated her visit to include

schools in Ohio, Marshall and

Tyler Counties. Lazan visited

Paden City High School, Hundred,

Long Drain Elementary,

Cameron area schools, Sherrard

Elementary, Linsly School,

Tridelphia Middle School and

John Marshall High School.

Public presentations were also

offered at Temple Shalom in

Wheeling and at Cameron High

School.

“She was wonderful from the

very time I spoke with her,”

said Springer, a middle school

English teacher.

Last week, Lazan was making

a speech when she offered

praise to the more than 400

people gathered in Paden City’s

High School gymnasium.

“Paden City is so fortunate

to have a good educators, a

good education do not take

these educational opportunities

for granted,” Lazan said.

When Lazan was 9 years

old imagine a fourth grade

s tudent she was seeing

things that no child should

see. Lazan said she weighed

around 38 pounds and her

mother weighed more than 60

pounds when the family was

f inal ly l iberated in 1945.

Eleven million people died

including six million Jews.

She spoke of how unspeakably

evil minds allowed this

happen.

To put these numbers into

perspective, Lazan drew attention

to the 6 million Jews who

were murdered.

“Your beaut i ful state of

West Virginia has just under 2

million people – three times

the people living in West Virginia

were wiped out,” she

said.

Lazan’s tale of deprivation

and degradat ion ends on a

high note in the form of a lesson

she wished to teach students

about how “hope can

overcome everything.” Lazan

survived with by believing in

the three “B’s” – a clean bed,

a bath and bread – all things

she hoped she would see

again.

“It is not so much what happens to a

person that matters as much as how you

deal with a situation,” she said.

Evil is a choice.

“God gave us beautiful minds to know

right from wrong, good and evil,” she

said. “We are capable of making the right

choices.”

Holocaust survivors like Lazan are the

last of those who can give a first-hand

account of what happened. Lazan stressed

the importance of passing on her experiences

so that future generations will never

forget what happened.

“When we are not here any longer, it is

up to you who must bear witness,” said

Lazan, 81, of New York.

That’s why Lazan was speaking to different

groups from Cameron to Wheeling

last week.

“Do I think I’m making a difference?

Yes. One hundred percent,” she said. “I

wouldn’t be asked to speak in schools if I

didn’t make a difference. If I’ve reached

one person in the audience, I’ll have done

my job. This is something that needs to be

done while we still have time.”

Springer has taught her students using

Lazan’s book, “Four Perfect Pebbles.”

“After hearing Mrs. Lazan’s presentation

in person, several of my students said

that it was so much more powerful to hear

from her personally,” she said. “Mrs.

Lazan is very good about applying the

content from her struggles with the Holocaust

to everyday topics such bullying,

tolerance, showing kindness to others. Do

I think she made a difference? Absolutely.”

Luke Cooper, a senior at Paden City

High School, said he wants the school to

obtain a copy of Lazan’s book for the

library. Cooper said the lessons he learned

from the presentation include “how she

used hope so as to never give up no matter

what” and that “sun comes up every day

no matter what” or that “if you have a bad

day, the next day will be better.”

Cooper said he hopes to share what he

knows with others so as pass her stories

along in the future.

“It was a very inspirational speech that

she gave,” he said. “It is very sad that we

are going to be the last generation to here

this first-hand. We should keep her book

in school and tell many people about that

situation as we can so that it doesn’t happen

again.”

Holocaust Survivor Speaks to Students

By Staff | Nov 10, 2015

Marion Blumenthal Lazan talks about her experiences surviving the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp during World War II. Lazan’s book, “Four Perfect Pebbles”, is a first-hand account not only of the devastating years that shaped her childhood, but the lessons she has taught others about hope and tolerance.

A Paden City Middle School student made a connection that brought a Holocaust survivor to the Ohio Valley. Through a school project intent on reaching out to survivors, Rachel Price contacted Marion Blumenthal Lazan, a noted author whose memoir “Four Perfect Pebbles” relives her experiences in Nazi concentration camps.

“I felt like it was my duty to learn more about what happened. I found her website, emailed her and then we talked on the phone,” said Price, a seventh-grader at Paden City Middle School.

For more than six years, the Blumenthal family was forced to live in concentration camps that included Westerbork in Holland and later Bergen-Belsen, where tens of thousands of people died including a teenager named Anne Frank.

“The horrors of the Holocaust did not click at first because it seemed so unreal, but after I did more and more research, I became heartbroken over the pain and anguish they had to be going through,” Price said.

Earlier this year, Price and Lazan made a connection and she agreed to visit West Virginia.

Holocaust survivor Marion Blumenthal Lazan (left) meets Rachel Price, a Paden City Middle School student, who invited her to speak about her experiences to students at area schools last week.

“I wanted others to know the story of being a Holocaust survivor,” Price said. “Not everyone goes through pain like this in their lives.”

Price worked closely with Brittany Springer, a friend of Prices family, who is also a middle school English teacher at Cameron Middle School. Springer contacted Lazan and coordinated her visit to include schools in Ohio, Marshall and Tyler Counties. Lazan visited Paden City High School, Hundred, Long Drain Elementary, Cameron area schools, Sherrard Elementary, Linsly School, Tridelphia Middle School and John Marshall High School. Public presentations were also offered at Temple Shalom in Wheeling and at Cameron High School.

“She was wonderful from the very time I spoke with her,” said Springer, a middle school English teacher.

Last week, Lazan was making a speech when she offered praise to the more than 400 people gathered in Paden City’s High School gymnasium.

“Paden City is so fortunate to have a good educators, a good education do not take these educational opportunities for granted,” Lazan said.

When Lazan was 9 years old imagine a fourth grade student she was seeing things that no child should see. Lazan said she weighed around 38 pounds and her mother weighed more than 60 pounds when the family was finally liberated in 1945. Eleven million people died including six million Jews. She spoke of how unspeakably evil minds allowed this happen.

To put these numbers into perspective, Lazan drew attention to the 6 million Jews who were murdered.

“Your beautiful state of West Virginia has just under 2 million people three times the people living in West Virginia were wiped out,” she said.

Lazans tale of deprivation and degradation ends on a high note in the form of a lesson she wished to teach students about how “hope can overcome everything.” Lazan survived with by believing in the three “Bs” a clean bed, a bath and bread all things she hoped she would see again.

“It is not so much what happens to a person that matters as much as how you deal with a situation, she said.

Evil is a choice.

“God gave us beautiful minds to know right from wrong, good and evil,” she said. “We are capable of making the right choices.”

Holocaust survivors like Lazan are the last of those who can give a first-hand account of what happened. Lazan stressed the importance of passing on her experiences so that future generations will never forget what happened.

“When we are not here any longer, it is up to you who must bear witness,” said Lazan, 81, of New York.

That’s why Lazan was speaking to different groups from Cameron to Wheeling last week.

“Do I think I’m making a difference? Yes. One hundred percent,” she said. “I wouldn’t be asked to speak in schools if I didn’t make a difference. If I’ve reached one person in the audience, I’ll have done my job. This is something that needs to be done while we still have time.”

Springer has taught her students using Lazan’s book, “Four Perfect Pebbles.”

“After hearing Mrs. Lazan’s presentation in person, several of my students said that it was so much more powerful to hear from her personally,” she said. “Mrs. Lazan is very good about applying the content from her struggles with the Holocaust to everyday topics such bullying, tolerance, showing kindness to others. Do I think she made a difference? Absolutely.”

Luke Cooper, a senior at Paden City High School, said he wants the school to obtain a copy of Lazan’s book for the library. Cooper said the lessons he learned from the presentation include “how she used hope so as to never give up no matter what” and that “sun comes up every day no matter what” or that “if you have a bad day, the next day will be better.”

Cooper said he hopes to share what he knows with others so as pass her stories along in the future.

“It was a very inspirational speech that she gave,” he said. “It is very sad that we are going to be the last generation to here this first-hand. We should keep her book in school and tell many people about that situation as we can so that it doesn’t happen again.”