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The book Four Perfect Pebbles is a memoir of Marion Blumenthal Lazan’s experience as a child during the Holocaust. The memoir was written in 3rd person, which presents a view of a Holocaust story that is emotionally engaging, but also historically accurate. When Hitler rose to power, the Jewish family, Marion, father Walter, mother Ruth, and brother Albert her trapped in Hitler’s Nazi Germany and were in desperate need of escaping.  Once Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, the anti-Semitism was supported by just about all of Germany. Because of them being Jewish, the Blumenthals’ family store was quickly boycotted, forcing Walter to sell his products to customers outside of the city and in the countryside. The only reason why they stayed is because Marion’s grandparents were too weak to travel anywhere, but that soon changed. In 1939, the family was sent off to Holland, which was controlled by Germany, and they signed up for visas to go to the United States, but never received them back.Over the next few years, the family were sent to many different concentration camps all across Germany-occupied Europe. They were first sent to live in Westerbork, Holland. The family was eventually transported to Bergen-Belsen, Germany. They were able to survive for the next couple of  years, despite all of the diseases and the threats of murder from German Nazi soldiers. In the camp, they lived in weird and cruel conditions, the camps were designed to dehumanize the prisoners and to make them more and more miserable everyday, and all because they were Jewish. At the camp, she writes about how families were split apart, prisoners dying everyday, and how the odor of death was never-ending.  The Germans knew that they were losing the war, so they shipped many families, including the Blumenthals, to the Auschwitz prison in Poland, which the prisoners referred to this as the “death train,” as it was well known by that time that this was the worst of all of the concentration camps to be sent to. One day, the “death train” was unusually late, and the Russians were able to free the trapped prisoners, who have been with minimal amounts of food and water for weeks. After the rescue, the family was moved to a town called Trobitz, Germany. They survived of the food and shelter left behind by the German population. Because of a typhus epidemic, the family was forced to stay in Trobitz. Typhus was a contagious disease, and unfortunately, a third of the Jewish population died, and do did Marion’s father, Walter. Once they were cleared, they moved to Holland. Once the family finally got their visas back about three years after the typhus epidemic, they went to New York City before settling in Peoria, Illinois. Marion and her brother were able to start a stable life and start their own family. I chose this book because ever since we started to learn about the Holocaust and World War II in the 7th grade, the topic stuck with me. I wanted to know exactly why Hitler did not like the Jewish people, does he has anything personally against someone who was Jewish? This book showed me the horrors that the prisoner had to go through while in these prisons, all of the inhumane things that happened to them, and all because of them being Jewish. It is very horrible what they all had to go through, and it is saddening just to hear or read about it. This book has opened my eyes and mind to see all of the horrible things that have happened in this world, and possibly what will happen in the future. I know that the world is not perfect, but it could be better if we all just accepted each other for who we are, or at least learn to tolerate one another!

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