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Jane Haining

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Jane Haining (6 June 1897 – 16 August 1944) is the only Scot to be officially honoured for giving her life for Jews in the Holocaust.

The award, in the form of a medal, was made in 2010, when the UK government awarded the Heroes of the Holocaust honour to Jane Haining's family in 2010.

The family passed the medal to Dunscore, the place of her birth, for safekeeping.

A total of 28 people received the British Heroes of the Holocaust award, created to honour them in response to calls for recognition the efforts of those who had helped Jews and others escape the horrors of the Holocaust.[1]

Haining was a Church of Scotland missionary who worked at a Jewish orphanage in Hungary, and was arrested by the Nazis for her work with Jewish children there. She refused to abandon the children in her care after German forces invaded in 1944 and was sent to Auschwitz, where she died.

She was gassed after being detained by the Gestapo, accused of political activity, helping Jews, and of listening to the BBC.

She had been ordered by her Church to return home to Scotland from Hungary at the outbreak of war, but was was determined to remain with 400 girls in the Jewish orphanage where she has been working.

In May 1944 she was sent to Auschwitz, where she was tattooed as prisoner 79467, and where she would die at the age of 47. [2]

Last words

Media articles from 2016 gave accounts of her arrest and final words:

The last words of a Scots missionary to her pupils as she was led off to her death in the Auschwitz concentration camp have been revealed.

Jane Haining told children at the school in Budapest: "Don't worry, I'll be back by lunch."

Agnes Rostas, 80, joined other former pupils at memorial events held in the Scottish Mission in Budapest and recalled her matron's parting words.

Ms Haining died in Auschwitz in 1944 aged 47.

Mrs Rostas was among a group of primary school children who looked on as secret police searched Ms Haining's office and charged her with working among Jews, listening to news broadcasts on the BBC and sending British prisoners of war parcels.

The missionary was betrayed by the school cook's son-in-law, whom she caught eating scarce food intended for the pupils.

Mrs Rostas said: "On the morning of that day, German officers were visiting Miss Haining and from our bedroom window across the hall we could see her room.

"After hours of questioning we could see that the two officers were taking her away and as they were going down one set of stairs, we hurried to another set to follow them down.

"We were sitting at the foot of the stairs crying and she looked back and said to us 'Don't worry, I'll be back by lunch'.

"That was the last time I saw her and I found out 40 years later she had died in Auschwitz."

Jane Haining: The Scot who died in Auschwitz - BBC News

A longer and more detailed account may be found here, from 2014: Jane Haining: The Scot who died in Auschwitz - BBC News[5]

A shorter account appeared back in 2008, when the campaign for recognition was gathering support: Jane Haining, Scotland's Schindler | The Independent[6]

Memorial cairn

Haining Memorial, 2011
Haining Memorial, 2011
© Leslie Barrie

A memorial cairn for Ms Haining stands near Dunscore Church, and was completed in 2005.

Dunscore heritage centre announced in 2017

A new heritage centre featuring photographs, documents and other personal effects of Jane Haining is expected to open during 2017this year at Dunscore Church to be opened celebrating the life of a Scots missionary who died in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

The scheme was part-funded by a grant of £106,400 awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Historic Environment Scotland (HES).[7]

Haining ring featured in 2017 Antique Roadshow programme

A ring belonging to Jane Haining and thought to have come from Scotland was featured on the show, along with other related items, and was found to have an Austro-Hungarian mark stamped into it, suggesting it may have been a gift, and originate there rather than Scotland. [8][9]

Budapest exhibition 2017

Honoured in her adopted city 73 years after she died.

Jane Haining will be the focus of a new exhibition in the Holocaust Memorial Centre in Budapest.[10]


1 Jane Haining Holocaust medal heads home to Dunscore - BBC News Retrieved January 20, 2017.

2 Holocaust heroine Jane Haining honoured by PM Retrieved January 20, 2017.

3 Auschwitz victim Jane Haining's last words to pupils revealed - BBC News Retrieved January 20, 2017.

4 Revealed: the haunting last words of Scots WWII heroine seized by Secret Police - The Scotsman Retrieved January 20, 2017.

5 Jane Haining: The Scot who died in Auschwitz - BBC News Retrieved January 20, 2017.

6 Jane Haining, Scotland's Schindler | The Independent Retrieved January 20, 2017.

7 Dunscore heritage centre plan for Auschwitz victim Jane Haining - BBC News Retrieved January 20, 2017.

8 Jane Haining's ring to feature on Antiques Roadshow - BBC News Retrieved January 20, 2017.

9 Antiques Roadshow sheds new light on ring belonging to Jane Haining - BBC News Retrieved January 20, 2017.

10 Jane Haining: Scot who died at Auschwitz honoured in Budapest - BBC News Retrieved 12 August 2017.

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