Marion Blumenthal Lazan isn’t just a sweet old lady comparable to most of our grandmothers. Instead, she is a remarkable woman with an even more remarkable story to tell. The story is one of hardship, pain, and suffering, but also, a story of triumph and hope.
On Oct. 15, the short statured lady stepped on the new PAMS stage to the sound of applause and began reliving the horrific details of her childhood in Nazi-controlled Europe. Although she was only a mere four years old when her family began their journey to escape Germany, her memories of the events remain vivid. Along with her older brother Albert, and loving parents, Mrs. Blumenthal Lazan moved to Holland awaiting their immigration papers to America. However, just a month before their ship was planned to set sail to freedom, the Blumenthal family was forced to a concentration camp under the rule of the Nazis and lived in appalling conditions.
Throughout the span of the next six years, Marion would be deprived of a childhood and lived each day full of terror. She witnessed events that “No one of any age should see,” she said, but remained hopeful. The only way she was able to remain hopeful was by creating games that she could play to distract herself from the pain and terror. For example, the search for four pebbles of the same size became Marion’s way of predicting her family’s fate. “If I was able to find four perfect pebbles,” she said, “my family would all survive. However, if only two or three could be recovered the fate of my family seemed grim.” Somehow she always came across four pebbles though, even if she did “cheat” along the way. Her game, her rules.