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Intimate exhibit honours WWII missionary

Fri 27 Oct 2017
By Alex Williams

Books and letters are among the artefacts featured in a new exhibition which honours a Scottish missionary who sacrificed her life to rescue Jewish children from the Nazis.

The collection at the Holocaust Memorial Centre in Budapest was officially opened by the UK Ambassador to Hungary, Iain Lindsay in honour of Jane Haining.

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Speaking at the official launch, Mr Lindsay (pictured above) said: "This is a fitting moment to pay tribute to Jane through this very special exhibition in this very special place."

Originally from Dunscore in Dumfries and Galloway, Miss Haining made her home in the Hungarian capital, where she worked at the city's Scottish Mission School as a boarding house matron.

Later betrayed, the Presbyterian was taken to the Auschwitz and Birkenau extermination camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, where she died in 1944.

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Rev Aaron Stevens (pictured below, right with Rev Iain Cunningham) from St Colombus Church in Budapest, which is now next to the old Scottish Mission School site v - now a state-run primary school - said Miss Haining set other Christians a powerful example.

He told Premier: "The times she endured were difficult ones for her and for the girls that she took care of; anti-Semitism was prevalent and encodified in law.

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"She showed real courage by remaining with the girls when she could have gone back to safety in Scotland and, in fact, she had been instructed to do so.

"To see someone who stands by her convictions and who remains with people in trouble even if it puts herself at risk, that really shows us the importance of standing up and taking courage today..."

Click here to listen to Premier's Alex Williams speaking with Rev Aaron Stevens:

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