Giving Voice to the

Children of the Holocaust

At the Unknown Child Foundation, we seek to educate audiences about the 1.5 million children (of the 1.6 million in the area at the time) who perished during the Holocaust and empower current and future generations to value and hold all children safe, regardless of their ethnic, social, economic or religious background. Click here to learn about the “Pennies Project,” the middle school class project that served as the impetus for our organization.

The work of the Unknown Child Foundation is funded by donations from individuals and companies sharing our commitment to keeping the memory of these children alive. All proceeds go to Unknown Child Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization and are tax-deductible. Please make us a part of your charitable giving plans.

The Memorial

The idea? Create a world-class destination that will keep alive the memory of the child victims of the Holocaust. Inspired by a very special classroom project, plans are for the memorial, designed by architect Doug Thornton featuring a sculpture by Canadian artist Rick Wienecke, to be housed at the Circle G Ranch in Horn Lake, MS.

The Pennies Project

It all began in the fall of 2009 during a discussion by teachers from Horn Lake Middle School, whose passion for increasing awareness about the Holocaust sparked the idea for their students to collect one penny to represent each of 1.5 million children killed during the Holocaust.

The Book of Remembrance

We’ve created a unique resource that allows you to learn more about the children who perished during the Holocaust. You can search through a detailed list of thousands of children and even make a donation in a specific child’s name.

The Sculpture

An abandoned child leans against the inside of a crematorium door, a replica of the oven doors at Auschwitz.  In his mind, he reaches an arm through the closed door, desperately grasping for a place where he will be safe.  Created by Canadian-born artist, Rick Wienecke, the sculpture will be surrounded by the 1.5 million pennies collected by students.

Never forget

“By preserving the memory of the Holocaust and its moral lessons, we tell the world that such atrocities should never happen again to Jews or to any other people in the world. I don’t want my past to become anyone else’s future.” – Holocaust survivor Friderica Beck Saharovici

Unknown Child Video

Recent Events

Beit Theresienstadt Visits Unknown Child Foundation

Beit Theresienstadt Visits Unknown Child Foundation

Unknown Child Foundation recently hosted a delegation from Beit Theresienstadt Museum in Israel. Three members from the Museum Board contacted UCF of their plans to be in the States and asked to visit the Unknown Child Holocaust Exhibit, which is currently showing at the Desoto County Museum in Hernando, Mississippi. Tami Kinberg, Liora Livni Cohen and Daniel Shek each have parents who survived Ghetto Terezin, from which Beit Theresienstadt Museum was founded. Their visit coincided with the Exhibit opening at its new location in Hernando.

At the opening event Rob Long, Museum Director, said, “All of us as humanity share in that sorrow (innocent lives lost in the Holocaust). Those lives were snuffed out — children who could have gone on to perhaps find the cure for cancer or any number of things. We can’t change history but we can honor history by learning from history. If a society or civilization loses that perspective, if they lose that history, they lose a very integral part of themselves. At the end of the day, this museum – any museum – is about telling stories that relate to us as humanity, through all of its triumphs and its glories and its agony and its defeats. It is an important story. It is a story that should not be forgotten.”

Daniel Shek, former Israeli Ambassador to France, said, “The story of Theresienstadt is really a story of the human spirit. It’s some kind of proof that you can enslave bodies, you can enslave people, you can kill them, but you can’t really enslave the human spirit. It can stay alive under the most difficult of circumstances.

“The Holocaust, while it struck the Jewish people more than anything, it struck humanity in general in a manner that we should not allow ourselves to completely recover from. We can’t rewrite history and we can’t change the past, but we can and we must make the future better than the past,” Shek said.

The delegation’s visit also included discussions between Beit Theresienstadt and UCF as to how the two can work together going forward. Unknown Child is honored to have this new relationship with Beit Theresienstadt — in Israel.
For more, please see the Desoto Times Tribune newspaper article:

Desoto Educator Susan Powell Named Teacher of the Year

Susan Powell, the Pleasant Hill Elementary School teacher whose “Pennies Project” helped her class better understand the suffering of children during the Holocaust and led to the formation of the non-profit Unknown Child Foundation, became DeSoto County Schools’ 2019 Teacher of the Year.

Click here to read more.