in ,

Exhibit at DeSoto County Museum Depicts Holocaust Through Child’s Eyes

Photo courtesy of DeSoto County Museum/Facebook

Alright, parents! School is about to be out for the summer, which means that somewhere in this glorious, sun-drenched state, a precious Mississippi child will soon be the first to utter those dreaded words: “I’m bored!”

Go ahead, and reward that disturbing and repetitive comment with a list of chores as long and lonely as a Mississippi red-dirt road. But then, you better start a list of some fun and affordable family activities for these long summer days. You will need it!

At the top of your list, let me suggest visiting the Unknown Child Holocaust Exhibit, a permanent display at the Desoto County Museum in Hernando. I can promise that it will be a great learning experience for the whole family. 

A touching tribute, this exhibit was inspired by students at Horn Lake Middle School who began collecting 1.5 million pennies in 2009, one to represent each child murdered in the Holocaust. With the help of GenSC, a local homeschool group, The Pennies Project finally reached its goal in 2014, and out of that joint venture came the Unknown Child Foundation.

As the focal point of this heartrending exhibit, Canadian artist Rick Wienecke created “The Unknown Child,” a unique sculpture of an abandoned child leaning against the inside of a crematorium door, an actual replica of the oven doors at Auschwitz. 

Some of the original pennies collected in The Pennies Project are scattered around the base of the sculpture. And visitors can donate pennies (and dollars) of their own in honor of one of the 1.5 million mostly Unknown Children of the Holocaust through the Place a Penny Project.

For those who fear the tour might be too much for young children, keep in mind that over 11 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, and 1.5 million of those victims were innocent children. So, we must share the stories of those precious children of the Holocaust with our children, and this exhibit is a great, age-appropriate starting point.

Plus, the Unknown Child Exhibit is only one of the multiple Mississippi-based exhibits that families can browse and enjoy at the Desoto County Museum. Find information on hours of operation and tour prices at, or call 662-429-8852. 

And to learn more about the Unknown Child Foundation and its plans to build an Unknown Child Holocaust Memorial and Museum on nearby land, formerly owned by Elvis Presley, go to



Written by Joy Lucius


Leave a Reply

What do you think?

RCS Seniors Graduate as Former Kindergarten Teachers Recall Their Homemade Gifts

Pirate Day in the Bay Returns to Bay St. Louis This Weekend