UPDATE: Holocaust Survivor Shares Her Story at OVU

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UPDATE 2/12/2014 11:00 AM

Hundreds packed the Roberts Chapel at Ohio Valley University Tuesday evening to hear the story of a Holocaust survivor.

Marion Blumenthal Lazan survived six and half years with her family in concentration camps during the Holocaust.

Marion spent the past two days in the Valley talking to schools and telling her story that she says needs to be told.

She now travels the world, sharing her story of both hardship and hope, all in an effort to spread a simple message to accept all others despite their beliefs.

After surviving one of the most horrific periods in history, a survivor of the Holocaust makes a trip to the Valley to share her story.

Marion Blumenthal Lazan and her family spent six and a half years in concentration camps in some of the most horrendous conditions.

But today she travels all around the world to share her story of hardship, but also of courage and hope.

It's hard to imagine what it was like for those forced into concentration camps across Germany during the Holocaust.

But Lazan is thankful to have survived so she can share her story, which she says needs to be told.

"This is definitely the last generation that will hear this first hand and have their questions answered," she says.

Marion was only four years old when she and her family were placed into the notorious Bergen-Belsen concetration camp and were kept for six and a half years.

As they struggled to stay alive in conditions that many couldn't, Marion created ways for herself to pass time. One of them, her four pebbles game. Searching the grounds as each pebble represented a member of her family.

"In my mind, finding those four pebbles would mean that the four members of my family would survive," she says. "It gave me something to hold onto. They were truly my survival techniques. They were my survival skills".

It even inspired the name of her memoir, "Four Perfect Pebbles".

Although they were being persecuted for their faith, Marion never questioned her beliefs or why God let this happen to them.

"Also he made sure that enough of us survived so that we'll always be here," she says. "I'm proud of my faith as I'm sure everyone else is proud of their faith"

Years after liberation and throughout her entire life, Marion has lived with an attitude to spread hope to those that she meets and has an important message that she strives to get across.

"We must remember to respect the right of others to their belief. To be kind and good and respectful and tolerant towards one another. That is the basis for peace," she says.

Marion and her husband of 60 years, Nathaniel, travel across the country together sharing these words and showing how she came out of her hardship a better person.

"I tell the students it is not cool to follow just anyone's lead without first checking to see what his or her true intentions are," she says.

And despite the adversity she was faced with, Marion continues to live life with a postive attitude and she credits that all to one very special person: her mom and fellow Holocaust survivor, who passed away last year just weeks shy of her 105th birthday.

"The fact that I was so young and that fact that I was always with my mother was a huge reason for my survival and for my attitude," she says.

As long as she's able, Marion plans to continue to spread her simple message.

"How we treat, behave, and reach out towards one other, that is entirely up to us," she says.

Betsy Ott from Jackson Middle School played a huge part in getting Marion here.

She spoke to a number of schools in the area Monday and will visit more Tuesday.

Tuesday at 7 p.m, Marion will be sharing her story at Ohio Valley University.

It's open to the public and free of charge - certainly worth while.

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