Local church to host holocaust survivorTo have faith, to persevere, and to never lose hope are the messages that Marion Blumenthal Lazan shares with audiences around the world. On Monday, Feb. 4, 2008, she will share her message with the community of Downingtown.

Marion Blumenthal Lazan, author and lecturer, was born in Bremen, Germany, and arrived in the United States three years after the end of World War II. Mrs. Lazan first began speaking publicly about her Holocaust experiences in 1979. Since publication of her memoir, the number of presentations has greatly increased. Mrs. Lazan has spoken to and with over 100, 000 students and adults in schools, churches, and other groups throughout the world.

Mrs. Lazan gives a moving first hand account of the Blumenthal family's life from events preceding Kristallnacht, to imprisonment in Nazi concentration camps, and finally to liberation. She asks her audiences to be tolerant of others and not stereotype individuals based on religious belief, color, race, or national origin.

She stresses the importance of positive thinking as well as creativity and inner strength. She warns her listeners to be true to themselves and not blindly follow the leader.

It is because her message is directed to both children and adults alike that Matt Kirsch, the Coordinator of Youth Ministry at St. Joseph's Parish invited Mrs. Lazan to speak. "I had the opportunity to attend one of Mrs. Lazan's presentations in New Jersey and I was deeply touched by her message. I thought her message was so important that I immediately began work to bring her to St. Joseph's Parish, " said Kirsch. Kathy Thomas, the Director of Religious education is encouraging her students to attend the presentation. "The children of our community have a unique opportunity to hear Mrs. Lazan's first hand account of her life in Germany, the concentration camps, and her life after her liberation. This generation of children will be the last generation to hear the first-hand accounts from survivors of the Holocaust. We felt it was extremely important to provide this opportunity."said Thomas.

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