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Dumfriesshire missionary who died in Auschwitz to be commemorated in Budapest

Jane Haining Credit: Cameron Brooks

A church missionary from Dumfriesshire, who travelled to Hungary to help Jewish schoolchildren during the Second World War, will be commemorated this weekend in Budapest.

Jane Haining was captured by Nazis who imprisoned her in Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp where she later died.

Several thousand people attend the Credit: PA

Scottish Secretary David Mundell will lead thousands of people through the streets of Budapest by torchlight for the 2019 March of the Living.

It is the largest demonstration against racism, anti-Semitism and neo-Nazi movements in the country.

The annual event, to mark Hungary's Holocaust Memorial Day, has seen crowds of more than 40,000 in the past - and this year the spotlight will be on Jane's legacy.

  • Who was Jane Haining?

Born in Dunscore, she was arrested by the Gestapo in 1944 for harbouring more than 400 children, the majority Jewish orphans, at the Scottish Mission School in Budapest.

When WWII began, Jane refused to return home to Scotland, choosing to stay with the children. She wrote :

'If these children need me in days of sunshine, how much more do they need me in days of darkness'."

– Jane Haining
The school girls Jane looked after. Credit: ITV Border

The 47-year-old was eventually taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in Nazi occupied Poland where she died three months later.

In 2010, she was awarded a Hero of the Holocaust medal by the British government.

The Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland granted Dunscore Church £106,400 in 2017 to showcase Haining's work.

Photographs, a video, letters, a copy of her handwritten last will and testament and her Hero of the Holocaust Medal are on display among other items.

Credit: Cameron Brooks

It is a huge honour, and a great privilege, to be asked to lead the March of the Living to mark Hungary’s Holocaust Memorial Day. I am very proud that the 2019 march will remember Scottish missionary Jane Haining.

“The Holocaust was undoubtedly one of the darkest times in human history, but the courage and personal sacrifice of individuals like Jane Haining give us hope for the future.”

– Scottish Secretary David Mundell

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