Four Perfect Pebbles, a Holocaust Story
The book begins with Marion Blumenthal, a young girl sleeping on her mother’s arm in a concentration camp in Bergen-Belsen, a town northwest of Berlin. Their fellow inmates are dying by the dozen. Marion vividly describes the horrors she experienced in the camp. Daily she found herself stepping over dead bodies that were just left strewn about. One of the worst torments was the daily roll call. They would stand in the below zero temperatures for hours on end with barely a layer of clothing to protect them from the frost. There was one good part of her day however; Marion and her mom would spot her father and brother Albert, and for a few short moments they got to be a family. Albert and dad always brought “surprises”. They brought what “extra” food they had saved from the previous day. Marion would bring along her secret treasure; four perfect pebbles. Marion’s pebbles gave her a sense of purpose, and belief that it would keep her family together.
The book flashes back Marion’s hometown, Hoya, Germany. Her family lived there along with her grandparents. They owned a big house with three floors; the first floor housed their shoe and clothing shop, their grandparent’s home was on the second and theirs on the third. The Blumenthal family miserably watched as anti-Semitism escalated, and was forced to make hard decisions. They wished to somehow leave the country, but they couldn’t bear leaving their grandparents. The store was soon boycotted and shut down. The Germans stamped their papers with a ‘J’. Hatred and violence towards the Jews became unbearable as the Nazi party gained popularity. Soon, both their grandma and grandpa died and they began trying to make arrangements to flee to America. The Blumenthal family had an affidavit in America, and was placed on a quota list, now they had to wait for their visa.
While waiting for their visa to America, they escaped to Holland, with just a knapsack each. Once in Holland...
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