Mr. Saharovici was a sincere friend to the Unknown Child Foundation. He followed closely its activities, speaking at UCF events and to school groups. He was an encourager and often gave “motivational” words prodding us to remember the children and finish the course.
During World War II, at age 14, Leonid Saharovici was placed by Nazis in a labor camp. His duties included removing rubble after bombs had fallen and disarming bombs that did not explode. After the war, Leonid graduated from the University of Bucharest Law School, and from there, he went on to practice law and teach at the law school.
Leonid married his true love, Frida “Friderica” Beck on July 18, 1956. They were married for 62 years and had two sons, Alex Saharovich (Debra) and Livio Saharovici (Heidi), and 5 grandchildren.
In 1971, Leonid and family received permission to immigrate to the United States. After waiting 6 months in Rome, Italy, the family received visas to immigrate. In 1972, Leonid and family moved to Memphis, Tennessee. Not knowing English, Leonid attended night classes and studied diligently to learn the language.
In 1983, after attending the Jewish Holocaust Survivors gathering in Washington, DC, he wrote to Governor Lamar Alexander asking him to consider establishing a Tennessee Holocaust Commission. In 1985, the Tennessee Holocaust Commission was formed and Leonid was appointed its Commissioner. Leonid made it his life’s mission to educate good and decent people on the lessons of the Holocaust to ensure they remember and it does not happen again.
His vibrant, infectious life will be greatly missed by his friends at UCF.