On Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 7 p.m. at the Boise State University Special Events Center, Boise State University’s Andrus Center for Public Policy sponsors a free human rights lecture featuring author and Holocaust survivor Marion Blumenthal Lazan.
Marion Blumenthal Lazan, who as a child survived more than six years in Nazi deportation and concentration camps, will deliver The Andrus Center for Public Policy’s first Human Rights Lecture on January 29, 2013 at the Boise State University Special Events Center. Lazan’s talk will begin at 7:00 pm and is free and open to the public.
An author and the subject of a PBS documentary, “Marion’s Triumph,” will deliver a talk entitled, “Four Perfect Pebbles–A Holocaust Story–A Message of Perseverance, Determination, Faith and Hope.” Mrs. Lazan will sign copies of her book Four Pebbles: A Holocaust Story following her talk.
“Marion Blumenthal Lazan’s story is one of horror and hardship, but also one of courage, hope and the will to survive. She represents one of the last surviving direct links to one of the most horrific periods in world history,” said Dr. David Adler, director of the Andrus Center and the Cecil D. Andrus Professor of Public Affairs at Boise State University.
Following Hitler’s rise to power, Marion and her family managed to flee Germany and escape to Holland. They planned to embark for the United States, but shortly before their departure, ships that would have carried them away from Europe where destroyed by the Nazis. For the next six and one-half years, Marion spent life in the deportation camp of Westerbork in Holland and the infamous Nazi concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen, the same camps where Anne Frank was detained.
In her memoir, “Four Pebbles,” Lazan recalls that “We often tripped and fell over the dead. Death was everywhere.” She recounts the misery of daily life and the hardships of survival, of picking lice from her hair and urinating on herself to prevent frostbite. On one occasion, her mother had somehow scraped together pieces of wood and potatoes with which to make soup. But that night, Nazi guards conducted a surprise search. In their frantic effort to hide the soup, the boiling water was spilled on Marion’s legs. If she had made the smallest murmur the guards would have discovered the soup and she and her family would have faced punishment, even death. Through extraordinary discipline young Marion made no sound. Following liberation by the Russian Army, Marion, by then a 10-year-old who weighed 35 pounds, along with her mother and brother, eventually made their way to the United States. Marion’s father died of typhus six weeks after their liberation.
“Lazan’s story resonates across the decades, and especially in our time, when governments across the globe routinely violate the dignity of individuals and fundamental human rights. There is in her message of perseverance and determination, a timely reminder of the high costs incurred by indifference to governmental atrocities, violation of civil and human rights and blind deference to governmental actions,” Adler said.
This lecture is made possible by generous underwriting provided by Oppenheimer Companies, Inc.