Holocaust survivor Marion Blumenthal Lazan shared her incredible story with Canajoharie students on Oct. 17.
She spoke about how her family survived six and a half years in refugee, transit, and prison camps in Holland and the notorious camp at Bergen-Belsen in Nazi Germany during World War II.
In a particularly powerful moment she showed students the yellow Star of David with the word “Jude” inscribed on it that she was forced to wear to denote that she was Jewish.
“The worst part was always being afraid,” she told students. “I was afraid all of the time. I wondered if my mother would come back from her work or who would be the next to die. We tolerated pain, but the fear…the fear was debilitating.”
Ultimately, she survived.
She came to the United States in the late 1940s. She has been married for decades, has three great granddaughters, has written a book about the Holocaust (Four Perfect Pebbles) and spoken with over a million students and adults about her experiences.
She shared universal messages with Canajoharie students about respect, tolerance, acceptance, and peace.
“Never ever give up hope. Never,” she said. “Do not take educational opportunities for granted. You must be the generation that remembers and then makes the world a better place.”