Church of Scotland/PA Wire
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Hungary to honour Scottish missionary

Sat 12 Aug 2017
By Alex Williams

A Scottish missionary who gave her life to help protect Jewish schoolgirls during the Holocaust is being honoured in Hungary.

A special exhibition being staged this autumn in the capital city Budapest (pictured, below) will display artefacts, documents and photographs of Jane Haining.

The exhibition will be held at the Holocaust Memorial Centre, a renovated synagogue in Budapest.

Centre spokesman Zoltan Toth-Heinmann described the Kirk missionary as a "unique and important" figure whose story has been "neglected".

Wikimedia Commons

 

He said: "Jane Haining's story is an important part of the Holocaust history in Budapest, and sometimes, for the general public, it might be neglected."

Miss Haining, who grew up near Dumfries, served as Matron at the Scottish Mission school in Budapest during the 1930s and 40s.

She resisted advice from Church of Scotland officials to return home during the Holocaust, saying that her children needed her.

Arrested in 1944 and charged with working amongst Jews, Miss Haining was taken to the Auschwitz-Birkanau extermination camp in Nazi-occupied Poland where she died aged 47.

Mr Toth-Heinmann added: "She was unique because all the other players - rescuers, victims and perpetrators - were local people.

"She was the only one who had the chance to choose if she would stay there and risk her life to save children or just leave and return to Scotland."

Rev Ian Alexander, Secretary of the Church of Scotland World Mission Council, said: "Jane Haining's story is heart-breaking, but also truly inspirational.

"Scottish missionaries were advised to return home from Europe during the dark days of the Second World War, but Jane declined, writing: 'If these children need me in days of sunshine, how much more do they need me in days of darkness?'"

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