Centre to honour Holocaust heroine

SCOTTISH heroine Jane Haining, pictured right, who refused to abandon Hungarian Jewish children in her care during the Holocaust, is to be honoured in a new heritage centre.

Jane, born in Dunscore near Dumfries in 1897, was the matron of the Scottish Mission School in Budapest.

After the Second World War started in 1939, Hungary's nationalist government began to concede antisemitic laws in a bid to undermine its more demanding fascist sympathisers before allying itself with Germany.

The authorities started to detain Jews who had lived in Budapest for decades without citizenship.

The Church of Scotland sent many letters urging Jane to return home, but she refused.

Weeks after Budapest was invaded by Germany in 1944, Jane scolded the cook's son-in-law for eating food intended for the girls at the school. He reported her to the authorities and she was arrested.

She was sent to Auschwitz, where she died, aged 47.

She is the only Scot to be honoured at Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations.

In 2010, she was honoured with the British Heroes of the Holocaust award.

A heritage centre in Dunscore Parish Church, will honour Jane's life and heroism.

Photographs, letters, documents and other items linked to the former Church of Scotland missionary will feature in the new exhibition.

A copy of her handwritten last will and testament, which was found in Church of Scotland offices in Edinburgh last year, is also expected to go on display.

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