SPOKANE, Wash. -Marion Blumenthal Lazan spent more than six years of her childhood in concentration camps.
"I was always afraid, afraid of what would happen to us next," said Blumenthal Lazan. "Would my mother come back from her work duties? Who would die next?"
Blumenthal Lazan, 83, and her family lived in refugee, transit and prison camps that included Westerbork in Holland and the notorious Bergen-Belsen in Germany.
"At the time of liberation at 10-and-half I weighed 16 kilos or 35 pounds as we know it here," said Blumenthal Lazan. "My mom weighed a mere 70 pounds."
The Blumenthal's were liberated in 1945, but six weeks later Walter Blumenthal, Marion's father, died from typhus.
"She [mother] was left a widow, no money, no home, and no country," said Blumenthal Lazan. "We came from Germany, we certainly weren't going to stay in that country."
Blumenthal Lazan and her family moved to the United States where the Holocaust survivor would spend her adulthood sharing her story.
"Each of us must do everything in our power to prevent such hate, prevent such destruction from ever happening again," said Blumenthal Lazan. "And again, we have to begin by having love and respect to each other."
Blumenthal Lazan was scheduled to speak at the Spokane Convention Center months ago, but following the deaths of 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday, her talk will be heard with heavy hearts.
"It's pretty much what happened some 70 or 80 years ago on a different level," said Blumenthal Lazan.
Blumenthal Lazan says whether it's 11 or 6 million dead, the motivation of those responsible is the same.
"It was due to anti-Semitism," said Blumenthal Lazan. "He said it right out - 'I'm going to kill every Jew.' He wanted to kill me. Why? We can learn from one another. What kind of a sick mentality is that? People like that have no place on this earth."
Blumenthal Lazan is the author of Four Perfect Pebbles: A Holocaust Story. She's spoken at schools, universities, conventions, and more.
You can learn more about her story by clicking here.