The Heart from Auschwitz activity enables the study of the historical context in which the Heart was created while focusing on spiritual resistance during the Holocaust. On the day of her 20th birthday, while she was a prisoner in the Auschwitz concentration camp, Fania received a heart-shaped card. Another young woman, Zlatka, had risked her life to make her a birthday present.

This in-class project concludes the study of the Holocaust on a positive note as students are invited to make their own version of the heart and to give it to someone in need of an affectionate gesture.

Download The Heart from Auschwitz Pedagogical Activity

The Heart from Auschwitz pedagogical activity is available online free of charge. Click on the download links at the bottom of this page for the activity that corresponds to your province’s curriculum.

Curriculum Links

  • Engage in dialogue with one another, with the past, with diversity
  • Practice dialogue through writing and acts of empathy
  • Reflect on art as a form of human expression and on its transformative power

Quebec teachers

A print version of this activity is available free of charge* for Quebec teachers by filling out the pre-reservation form. You will receive:

  • Teaching guide (22 pages)
  • A replica of the Heart
  • A video of the Heart
  • Instructions for making a heart in class
  • The story of the creation of the Heart from Auschwitz as told by Zlatka Pitluk, the woman who initiated the project
  • A Brief History of the Holocaust Reference Guide

Teachers may also borrow or purchase The Heart of Auschwitz documentary by director Carl Leblanc (ADHOC Films). It traces the history of the heart from the women who created it to the girl who received it for her 20th birthday while working in a munitions factory at Auschwitz.

* Attention! Fees: The activity itself is free; however, shipping/courier costs for the activity are at your own expense. In-person pickup at the Museum is free.

Heart made by students in 2011.
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Heart made by students in 2011.

The heart-shaped booklet is a birthday card offered to Fania Fainer for her 20th birthday on December 12, 1944, while she was in Auschwitz.
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The heart-shaped booklet is a birthday card offered to Fania Fainer for her 20th birthday on December 12, 1944, while she was in Auschwitz.

"Freedom, Freedom, Freedom, Wishing on the day of your birthday." Message written by Mania M(…) in the Heart of Auschwitz, 12/XII/1944.
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"Freedom, Freedom, Freedom, Wishing on the day of your birthday." Message written by Mania M(…) in the Heart of Auschwitz, 12/XII/1944.

Learn more about the Holocaust and the Montreal Holocaust Museum’s collection

Many more artefacts preserved at the Museum are available on the Objects of Interest page of this website, notably the real Heart from Auschwitz. To learn more about the Holocaust, please consult the reference guide A Brief History of the Holocaust. You can also use the the Artefact Analysis Sheet to help your students further their learning.

Download the Educational Program

3rd cycle Elementary – Social Sciences, Languages, Ethics and Religious Culture

Grade 6 - Visual Arts; Grade 8, Grade 10, Grade 11 and Grade 12 – English Language Arts

Grade 5 and Grade 6 – Language; Grade 7 and Grade 8 – Arts

Grade 5 and 6 - English Language Arts, Visual Arts; Grade 6 and 7 - Social Studies

Reserve an Activity