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Holocaust survivor Anne Fields lights a candle during Holocaust Remembrance Program held in Marion Square Sunday, April 23, 2017, in Charleston. File/Grace Beahm/Staff

By Grace Beahm

The annual Holocaust Remembrance commemoration is set for 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 15, and will feature keynote speaker and author Marion Blumenthal Lazan.

The event begins with a program titled “Four Perfect Pebbles: A story of Courage, Hope, and the Will to Survive,” presented in the ballroom of the Gaillard Center, 95 Calhoun St., and it concludes at the Holocaust Memorial in Marion Square. Sponsored by the Charleston Jewish Federation and the City of Charleston, the commemoration is free and open to all.

Lazan is a Holocaust survivor and author of "Four Perfect Pebbles." Her presentation recalls the devastating war years that shaped her childhood. The Blumenthal family, trapped in Nazi Germany, was forced to live in refugee, transit and prison camps. Though they survived the camps, Lazan’s father succumbed to typhus just after liberation.

The program includes a reading of names of those with local connections who were killed in the Holocaust, a tribute to local survivors, a silent march to the memorial and a ceremony.

Judi Corsaro, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Charleston, said that many local families lost loved ones in the Holocaust. The commemoration, she said, provides a chance to recall — and call out — injustice, and to express solidarity.

"It's an important time to come together to remember what happens when we don’t use our voices and don’t stand up for what’s right," Corsaro said.

Nine survivors will be honored at the event: Dientje Krant Adkins, Frieda Bernstein, Joe Engel, Anne Fields, Rose Goldberg, Charles Markowitz, Vera Nathans Semel, Francine Taylor and Sylvia Zealberg. 

"Every year with them is precious now," Corsaro said, adding that two or three are likely to attend the commemoration event and light candles.

Contact Adam Parker at or 843-937-5902.