GreaterSayville coverage is funded in part by The Winston, a rustic space for intimate gatherings at 249 W. Main Street in downtown Sayville. Click here to learn more.
Author and Holocaust survivor Marion Blumenthal Lazan visited Oakdale-Bohemia Middle School to meet with sixth graders who are reading her memoir, “Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story.”
With the students during the special assembly, Lazan expanded on her story of how she, her parents and brother were trapped in Nazi Germany following Hitler’s rise to power. They escaped to Holland, but the country was soon occupied by the Nazis and for the next six and a half years, the Blumenthals were imprisoned in refugee, transit and prison camps that included the notorious concentration camp Bergen-Belsen in Germany.
Lazan spoke about the Nuremberg Laws and her trip to the infamous Nazi prison camp at the height of World War II. She also explained the title of her book — that in her child’s mind she believed if she collected four perfect pebbles, all of her family members would survive.
Her family did survive, though her father died of typhus soon after their liberation.
Lazan, who was 13 when her family moved to the United States in 1948, told the students that though she has separated herself from what happened during the Holocaust, she understands the impact of sharing her experiences.
Lazan travels internationally, speaking on her experiences during the Holocaust. She appealed to the students to share her story with others.
“Please share the stories of the Holocaust,” she said during the assembly held earlier this month. “It is you who will have to bear witness.”
Lazan concluded her presentation by asking students to have love, respect and tolerance toward one another, to look for similarities and respect differences, and to never generalize a group by the actions of others.
Photos courtesy of the Connetquot Central School District