Teacher Uses Skype To Teach Students about the Holocaust
the help of Skype, a Virginia history teacher
is passing on the story of his family's escape from the Holocaust
33 years, George Cassutto, a teacher at Harmony
Middle School near Hamilton, VA, has been telling the
personal story of
how his parents, Ernest and Elizabeth Cassuto, Jews from the
managed to escape Nazis before meeting, getting married and moving to
the early years of his teaching career in
County School District, Cassuto told his story only to the
in his own classroom in an effort to teach the lessons of the
However, he also was one of the first adopters of technology in his
and now he shares the story via Skype to students at Eagle
Ridge Middle School in Ashburn, VA, as well.
video conferencing tools available to him,
Cassuto has been able to prepare lessons for as many as 100 students at
it wasn't his first use of technology. Back
in 1995, he encouraged his students to create Web pages to document the
they had learned in his class.
was cutting edge then," Cassuto said in a report for Loudon Now. "Now
it's almost like you can't teach without it."
father Ernest went into hiding in
Rotterdam with his then-fiancé Hetty Winkel in 1942. However, they were
separated a year later and Ernest learned Hetty had died in Auschwitz.
eventually spent most of the war in a Rotterdam prison, where he was
Jewish person to survive.
mother, who grew up in Amsterdam, was
separated from her parents, who died in a concentration camp, and
raised by one
of her teachers before finding her way to the United States.
telling this story," Cassuto said, "I want
them to leave with the message to be accepting."
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.