For Educators

Dear Educators:NCSS_NotableSealRP

I wrote Tutti’s Promise with middle and high school teachers and students in mind.

Rather than introduce the Holocaust through the enormity of six million murdered Jews, the book approaches it at a personal level — what happened to a single family. We see a German Jewish family leave Germany in 1936 and go to a neutral country where they thought they would be safe. Once the Nazis invade, the family has to deal with tighter and tighter restrictions until they are sent to a transit camp and then deported to a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. The reader will understand, from a child’s viewpoint, what it was like to live in the camps. We also see resistance and sabotage, learn about the meticulous record keeping of the Nazis, and meet many up-standers.

The pages on this website are full of material for you to use with your classes. Feel free to lift, copy, and share (but please cite where you found it). The family pictures help bring the story to a personal level. There are many original documents. Students can watch Tutti’s Shoah testimony* and hear her tell the events in her own words. And I have included links to various archives I consulted while doing my research for Tutti’s Promise.

In the future I would like to add lesson plans to this website as well. If you develop an effective lesson for using Tutti’s Promise, please let me know and I will post it here for other educators to use.



Heidi Fishman with Debbie Steinerman and Marion Rosenbloom of the Vermont Holocaust Memorial


*About the video testimonies:  Educators can sign up for a free account on the iWitness site. There are thousands of hours of testimony along with Tutti’s full two hour interview.

“IWitness is an educational website developed by USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education that provides access to more than 1,500 full life histories, testimonies of survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust and other genocides for guided exploration. IWitness brings the human stories of the Institute’s Visual History Archive to secondary school teachers and their students via engaging multimedia-learning activities. Designed to be participatory, academic and student-driven, IWitness addresses education standards from the Common Core State Standards Initiative (United States) and the International Society for Technology in Education, among others.” — from the About page accessed 5/7/2

** The Vermont Holocaust Memorial is committed to teaching the lessons of the Holocaust by honoring lives lost and sharing stories of survival.

“Mrs. Fishman’s presentation provided our students with a valuable example of the use of primary and secondary sources in research. . . . Mrs. Fishman created a narrative of her own process using visuals, including documents she found, pictures of her mother as a young girl, and photos of the building and surroundings in Amsterdam where her mother’s family hid. … Continue reading Matt Hopkins – grade 7 Language Arts Teacher — Nathan Hale-Ray Middle School

Matt Hopkins – grade 7 Language Arts Teacher — Nathan Hale-Ray Middle School

“Ms. Fishman did a wonderful job of explaining to our eighth grade students how she was able to take her mother’s true story of survival during the Holocaust and turn it into a novel.  I especially enjoyed her explanation of the research process she used to find additional details of her mother’s childhood.  I would highly … Continue reading Danielle Michaud – 8th grade Language Arts teacher – Nathan Hale-Ray Middle School

Danielle Michaud – 8th grade Language Arts teacher – Nathan Hale-Ray Middle School