Children's Holocaust Memorial (Whitwell - Marion County)

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Children's Holocaust Memorial (Whitwell - Marion County)


The Children's Holocaust Memorial at Whitwell Middle School (WMS) began in 1998 as a project by WMS teachers Sandra Roberts and David Smith to teach tolerance to their students. Initially, an after school study group was designed to teach about the Holocaust. However, it quickly became apparent that students struggled to grasp the sheer number of individuals that perished at the hands of the Nazis. After learning about a group of Norwegians who used paper clips as a symbol of solidarity with Norwegian Jews, the students set out to collect 6 million paper clips to represent each of the Jewish individuals exterminated in the Holocaust. As the project continued to grow, the students and staff at WMS developed a formal Children's Holocaust Memorial. Today, the memorial is housed in an authentic German World War II railcar, consisting of two display cases with artifacts and 11 million paperclips to represent each of the victims of Nazi genocide. Throughout the duration of this project, Whitwell Middle School acquired a large collection of letters from survivors and liberators, over 5,000 artifacts, and a vast Holocaust literature collection.


Whitwell Middle School


Whitwell Middle School, "Whitwell Middle School Holocaust Project: Paperclips," Brochure available at memorial.




Johnson, Elizabeth, photographer.


20th century


Whitwell Middle School, “Children's Holocaust Memorial (Whitwell - Marion County),” Tennessee Jewish Heritage Digital Archive Project, accessed September 29, 2020,

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