A True Story of Inner Strength and the Will to Survive

One of her favorite parts of the assembly presentation is when Ms. Lazan gets to spend some one-on-one time with our students.
One of her favorite parts of the assembly presentation is when Ms. Lazan gets to spend some one-on-one time with our students.
A special thank you to the Silas/Stimson PTA for providing this incredible experience for our students.
A special thank you to the Silas/Stimson PTA for providing this incredible experience for our students.
Greeting and speaking with students, Ms. Lazan gave each of them words of encouragement along with a bookmark.
Greeting and speaking with students, Ms. Lazan gave each of them words of encouragement along with a bookmark.

It takes someone very special to be able to keep close to five hundred Stimson eighth-graders quiet and attentive for over an hour?

On Friday morning, March 17th that someone special was Marion Blumenthal Lazan. Ms. Lazan is the author of Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story.  It is the story of and the incredibly moving first-hand account of her family’s Nazi concentration camp imprisonment and liberation.

Following Hitler’s rise to power, the Blumenthal family – father, mother, Marion, and her brother Albert – were trapped in Nazi Germany. They eventually managed to get to Holland, which soon thereafter was occupied by the Nazis. For the next six and a half years, the Blumenthals were forced to live in refugee, transit, and prison camps, including Westerbork in Holland and the notorious Bergen-Belsen in Germany. Although they all survived the camps, Walter Blumenthal, the father, succumbed to typhus just after liberation.

Ms. Lazan, spoke of sensitivity and patience as she captivated Stimson’s eighth-grade audience. She stressed the importance of positive thinking to overcome adversity, and asked our students to be tolerant of others and not stereotype individuals. “The most important message for audiences of all ages to live by is to have respect, tolerance, and love towards one-another regardless of religious belief, color of our skin, or national origin” said Ms. Lazan. “That is the basis of peace.”

As part of Stimson’s Character Education Program this was a wonderful opportunity for our students to hear this first hand account from a living Holocaust survivor.  Thank you PTA Cultural Arts Program for making this possible.