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Marion Blumenthal Lazan was born to a Jewish family in Bremen, Germany. In 1938, Marion was a small child when she, her brother Albert, and their parents fled to the Netherlands after the Nazi pogrom known as Kristallnacht. As they awaited emigration to the USA in Rotterdam, Holland was invaded by Germany in World War II. The Blumenthals attempted to live in hiding, but were caught and deported via the Westerbork transit camp to the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen. They all survived the war, and after spending several years in refugee camps, in 1948 they finally managed to reach the USA. They settled in Peoria, Illinois, where Marion, at age 13, was able to begin her formal education and rapidly learned English. She graduated from Peoria Central High School in 1953. That same year, at age 18, she married Nathaniel Lazan, with whom she had three children. She worked as a hospital and community volunteer and went on to train as a medical assistant. She has been active as a public speaker throughout the USA, Germany, the UK, and Israel. Marion often draws parallels with her experiences and that of Anne Frank, who was also detained in Westerbork and sent to Bergen-Belsen. Marion's memoir Four Perfect Pebbles: A True Story of the Holocaust, written with Lila Perl, was published in 1996. The 2003 documentary film Marion's Triumph also tells her story.
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