Some of the questions will be spoilers if you haven’t read the book up to that chapter yet. DO NOT READ THE QUESTIONS BEFORE YOU READ THE CHAPTER unless you don’t care about suspense or surprises.
- Once the fighting stops and a war is over, civilian life does not return to normal for a long time. Even then, people’s lives will never be the same.
- What were some ways that people helped the Lichtensterns after the war ended? What people or situations made it more difficult for them?
- What were the barriers to the Lichtenstern family resuming their life in Amsterdam after the war?
Discussion Questions and Activities
- Why did the family hide during the liberation of the camp?
- Why were they afraid of the Russians?
- Why did the family have to stay at Theresienstadt after liberation?
- What is a refugee? What other times in history have there been many refugees? Where were they from and where were they going? Why?
- Some people and countries welcome refugees and others fear them. Explain.
- The days spent with Lloyd Miller and Stanley Greenberg are a very strong memory for Tutti. Why?
Note: Lloyd Miller was this soldier’s real name. It is absolutely true that the Lichtensterns and Sergeant Lloyd Miller took pictures while in Pilsen at the airbase. I have been looking for the family of Lloyd Miller since I started writing Tutti’s Promise, hoping that they may still have the pictures of the Lichtensterns. If anyone reading this ever finds the real Lloyd Miller’s family, please contact me. There is a contact form elsewhere on this website.
- The conditions in Maastricht were truly wretched — filth, inedible food, long lines. Why?
- What would the people caring for the refugees need to provide for them? Discuss how hard would this be at the end of the war after The Netherlands had been invaded, occupied, bombed, and ravaged.
- What does it mean to be a “displaced person?”
- After WWII there were hundreds of thousands of surviving Jews. Many did not want to go back to their home countries. Why?
- Research where the displaced persons finally settled and what difficulties they faced in the process.
- During the war years families were split up. After the war people were trying to find each other, but didn’t know where to look. What would have been the main sources of information at the time?
- Mrs. Muller’s husband died of pneumonia during the winter of 1944. Research the “hunger winter.”
- Adriaan Vos was in the NSB and stole the belongings that Heinz had left with him for safekeeping. Research the NSB and how they collaborated with the Nazis.
- Why wouldn’t Margret let Tutti keep the gift from Mrs. Muller?
- What did Heinz imply when he said Popje was a “real lifesaver”? What do you think he used the money for?
- Why did Egbert insist on showing Heinz a full accounting of how he used the money?
- What did Egbert mean by the statement, “Steady employment is better than a handful of guilders?”
- Why was metal in high demand after the war?
- What lesson did Margret impart to her children at the end of the book?
- Why is it important?
- What was Tutti’s Promise?
- Activity: Have the class discuss ways they can make the world a better place either individually or as a group.