Holocaust survivor to visit schools

VIENNA – A woman who survived the Holocaust will talk about her experiences in a free public presentation at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 in the Stotts Administration Building at Ohio Valley University.

Marion Blumenthal Lazan will speak about surviving being a refugee and then a prisoner in a Nazi prison camp.

As a child after Adolf Hitler rose to power, the Blumenthal family left Germany for Holland that later went under German occupation. The family for more than six years lived in refugee and prison camps.

Her father, Walter, died shortly after their liberation. She, her mother and brother later emigrated to the United States when she was 13.

For years, Lazan kept her experiences buried, but in 1996, she shared her story in the book “Four Perfect Pebbles,” which she wrote with Lila Perl.

“Four Perfect Pebbles” will be available for sale and autograph after the presentation.

Lazan travels the country and abroad to speak to students and adults in schools, organizations, synagogues and churches.

“It is unusual for someone to have the chance to hear history firsthand. Now that we are nearly 70 years removed from the Holocaust, it becomes rarer and rarer to be able to hear from a survivor,” Steven Hardy, dean of the school’s College of Arts and Sciences, said. “Marion’s lessons are timeless: to be tolerant of others and not to stereotype individuals; to use positive thinking, creativity, and inner strength to overcome adversity; and to be true to yourself and not blindly follow a leader.”

Lazan’s book and presentations have been praised by filmmaker Steven Spielberg, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel and teachers and students.

Lazan also will speak at Jackson Middle School, Hamilton Middle School, Belpre High School and West Virginia University at Parkersburg. Funding for the presentation is provided by the McDonough Foundation.

Chartered in 1958, Ohio Valley University is a residential faith-based Tier I institution with four colleges offering 35 undergraduate degrees and a master’s of education degree to students from 28 states and 14 nations. To learn more about the university, visit www.ovu.edu.