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Church of Scotland
Church of Scotland
World News

Edinburgh Council to install memorial to Church of Scotland Holocaust victim Jane Haining

by Premier Journalist

A Church of Scotland school matron who died in Auschwitz after refusing to abandon Jewish girls in her care will be honoured with a stone memorial in Edinburgh.

Miss Haining trained as a Church of Scotland missionary in Edinburgh and in 1932 became matron of the Scottish Mission School in Budapest, Hungary, which had around 400 day and boarder pupils aged from 6-16 years old, a mixture of Jews and Christians.

She helped keep the children safe until she was betrayed and arrested by German officers in April 1944. Charged with eight offences she was jailed in Budapest before being transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau by rail in a cattle wagon along with scores of others.

Jane Haining was killed in Auschwitz in 1944 and subsequently recognised as ‘Righteous Among the Nations' at Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, the only Scot to be given the honour. The motion to pay for the installation of a Stolperstein or ‘stumbling stone' memorial was passed by acclaim this week by City of Edinburgh Councillors.

Rt Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, commented:

"A woman of deep Christian faith, she was fully aware of the risks she was taking but repeatedly refused Church of Scotland pleas to leave Budapest and return home to Scotland as the war engulfed Europe.

"Jane was determined to continue doing her duty and stick to her post, saying ‘If these children need me in days of sunshine, how much more do they need me in days of darkness?'.

"Her story is moving, humbling, heart-breaking and inspirational and we hope that this honour will help keep her memory alive for generations to come."


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