Excerpts from Teachers, Educators and Others

“Dear Marion,

Please forgive me in being so slow in letting you know how much it meant to us to have you visit MPH! We are winding down now, with yesterday being the last day for Middle School. This is our Commencement Weekend. Things have been hectic, but you should know when given the choice of a last-day activity the kids unanimously chose to watch “Marion’s Triumph.” Even though they had read your book and heard you speak, they still could not wait to hear your story one more time. They loved seeing the pictures of your family, Hoya, the old movies of Purim at the Children’s Home, Nathanial, and even your children and grandchildren! Seeing the footage of the bodies being bulldozed into the mass graves particularly hit them. With pictures, your experience was brought even more to life. As part of their exam my sixth graders had to respond in an essay to a political cartoon dealing with the Holocaust and the importance of passing on the story…Several of them quoted you! Your visit will be an experience they–we all–will long remember.”
– Laura Jordan, Manlius Pebble Hill School, DeWitt, New York

“(Marion’s Triumph) …..tells the story of Holocaust survivor Marion Blumenthal through archival footage (some graphic), photos, and interviews. Blumenthal discusses her terrifying ordeal, her immigration to the U.S. in 1948, and her determination to educate others about the Holocaust. Actress Debra Messing’s narration is gentle and tender.”
  Deborah A. Wooten, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Theory & Practice in Teacher Education, University of Tennessee


“I ‘discovered’ you on PBS the other night. I was under the impression that I was watching a story about a local woman, our “local” meaning Phoenix, AZ. After watching just a few minutes I knew I had to record it for my husband. I watched, spellbound for 30 minutes, before I could bring myself to stop. I was conflicted because on one hand I didn’t want to stop and on the other, I felt it was something I could no longer watch alone. You had lived the life that just as easily could have been mine but for the fact that my grandparents and/or great-grandparents left Hungary and Romania before the Holocaust. You and I are exactly 2 years apart in age. Tonight my husband watched the program with me; both of us in tears and incredulous at your courage and attitude. We did have a Holocaust survivor in our home some years ago, who gave me his coat to hang in the closet, along with the loaded gun he always carried in a brown paper sack, just in case he would “run into” a Nazi…

In closing I might mention that the home we lived in then, and until just 4 years ago, was in Bloomington, Illinois!! Imagine our surprise when we discovered at the end of your story, that you had been raised in Peoria!!! We are from Cleveland originally, but lived in Bloomington for 29 years. I am not certain you will read this, but I just had to write.” – Nancy Bernstein, Phoenix, AZ


“I just spent an hour watching your documentary. It is fabulous. It was like having you in my dining room. .…I can hardly wait until my students see this film. Personalizing history makes it more meaningful for them.”
– Pam Blevins, teacher, Brink Junior High School, Oklahoma City, OK


“What an inspiring video! …..my class this year seems very young and their attention span isn’t the longest for an 11 year old, however, they sat there in wonderment for the entire video! …..It is a must if you are teaching your book (Four Perfect Pebbles)! My kids want to know if you will come to Hawaii for them to meet you and hear you speak.”
– Mary Ann Chester, teacher, Keaau, Hawaii


“…..so when I heard of your film (Marion’s Triumph), I immediately asked for a copy – reviewed it yesterday and think it’s great!…. want you to know that I ordered 30 copies of your videos to distribute to my Holocaust Teacher’s institute–at the University of Miami for the week of June 23rd-28th. I will also show excerpts of it to the institute I will be teaching in North Carolina—and hope that next school year we can arrange for you to come to Miami.”
– Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff, Education Specialist/Holocaust Studies, Miami Dade County Public Schools, Florida


“…It’s wonderful! I found it (Marion’s Triumph) very moving. I will be adding it to our high school’s library so it can contribute to the understanding and knowledge of our students. There are already two teachers, 8th and 10th grades, who want to use it for their classes along with (your memoir) Four Perfect Pebbles.”
– Joanne Shawhan, Library Media Specialist, Cobleskill/Richmondville High School, Richmondville, New York


“The very best thing about Marion’s Triumph is its poignant concentration on Marion’s beautiful and serene face and persona. She is the strongest element and needs no adornment. However, I must say that John Chua’s respectful and truthful production enhances Marion’s presentation beautifully – without in any way detracting or commercializing her story. The title itself is also a subtle knockout jab at Hitler’s “Triumph of the Will” propaganda film.”
– Sally Vaci, Birmingham, Alabama


“I purchased your video for our Agency library. It arrived last Friday, so I took it home for the weekend, as my mother was visiting. My mom, my daughter, my mother-in-law and I watched it together on Saturday evening. It is awesome! The video goes into more depth and detail in some cases than the book, which made it fascinating. It was exciting to see your mother and brother on film, after hearing about them in your talks. I will promote the use of this video in all of our 122 schools that learn about the Holocaust, and I plan to purchase a personal copy as well.”
– Becky Mather, Quality Learning Consultant- Media, Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency, Davenport, Iowa


“I bought 2 copies of Marion’s Triumph and I think it is awesome. We will be watching it on Monday.”
– Lisbeth DeCotiis, Teacher, Harding Township School, New Vernon, New Jersey


“My classes finished Four Perfect Pebbles yesterday and I am so glad that I showed your film today. ……They were so touched by this film and I saw some tears shed. The ending of your film is so very touching and it is hard for me to watch it every period without becoming emotional.”
– Jeri Rufatto, Teacher, Guion Creek Middle School, Indianapolis, IN


“I just finished watching Marion’s Triumph, and I am feeling completely overwhelmed. Your story is so moving- and so full of hope! To see your brother speak about his experience brought me to tears, because I remember you telling us that he would not talk about it. …As long as I am a teacher, your story will be shared and learned from year after year.”
– Leslie Lloyd, Teacher, Brownstone, IL


“I just received your video, and just finished watching it. It is truly an incredible story of strength and character.”
– Sue Katz, Executive Director, Jewish Federation of Peoria, Illinois


“I was rendered speechless last evening after watching “Marion’s Triumph.” I have never had the privilege of seeing you speak in person, but the story of you and your family, if I can borrow from your title, is truly a Triumph of the Human Spirit. It shows the world how hope and love can persevere.”
– Robin Krassner Beckman, Livingston, NJ


“I saw your film last night. I was so moved, I had trouble getting up after seeing it. It really shows the power of a well-made film. I would highly recommend your film to anyone who wanted to know what happened in the Holocaust, and especially to understand how it is possible, though rare, for someone to overcome, and even triumph.”
– Huey Freeman, Staff Writer for the Herald & Review, Monticello, Illinois


“I was so moved by your story on Louisiana PBS last night. The strength you and your family and many others showed was beyond words. I wonder if I could have been so strong and so happy today. I look forward to reading your book and will remember you till my death.”
– Linda Wilcox



stars5.0 out of 5 starsAmazon Customer Review

“Incredible survival, Holocaust survivors, Marion, her brother, Albert, and their mother, Ruth, present with a beautiful resilience to the horrible life they managed to live to survive. One can picture/feel the pain/fear and miserable existence of the Jewish people as they were manipulated by the Nazis as if they were garbage that could be disposed of at a whim. I thought this was an excellent testimony which gives hope of victory over evil to a needy world today.”
– Page Mackisoc, Newton, NJ