TV show tell of Scot­tish Holo­caust vic­tim

The Oban Times - - Birth, Marriages & Deaths -

FAS­CI­NAT­ING new de­tails about a long lost ring that be­longed to a brave Scot who died in Auschwitz will be re­vealed on the An­tiques Road­show to­mor­row, Sun­day Jan­uary 15.

Holo­caust vic­tim, Jane Hain­ing’s jew­ellery is be­ing an­a­lysed by ex­pert John Ben­jamin for a spe­cial episode of the iconic BBC One flag­ship pro­gramme to mark Holo­caust Me­mo­rial Day.

He will share with her two nieces, Deirdre McDow­ell and Jane McIvor, his pro­fes­sional opin­ion that casts fresh light on the ori­gins of the price­less arte­fact, which was re­cently re­turned to the Church of Scot­land of­fices in Ed­in­burgh.

The two women will dis­cuss with Mr Ben­jamin the ex­tra­or­di­nary story of how Miss Hain­ing was ar­rested by the Nazis in 1944 for look­ing af­ter Jewish girls at the Kirk-run Scot­tish Mis­sion School in Bu­dapest, Hun­gary.

The for­mer board­ing house ma­tron’s hand­writ­ten will, a copy of the last let­ter she wrote while im­pris­oned in the con­cen­tra­tion camp and pho­tographs will also fea­ture on the pro­gramme.

Tak­ing part was a proud and emo­tional ex­pe­ri­ence for the two sis­ters from Lon­don­derry, North­ern Ire­land, whose mother Agnes O’Brien was the ma­tron’s half- sis­ter.

They grew up hear­ing sto­ries about their coura­geous and in­spi­ra­tional aunt who re­peat­edly re­fused or­ders from the Church to re­turn home af­ter the Sec­ond World War broke out be­cause ‘her girls needed her in days of dark­ness’.

For four long years Miss Hain­ing, who grew up in Dun­score near Dum­fries, pro­tected the pupils from the emerg­ing threat of the Fi­nal So­lu­tion un­til she was be­trayed by the school cook’s son-in-law whom she caught steal­ing scarce food.

She was ar­rested by the Gestapo in April 1944 and for­mer pupil Agnes Rostas re­cently re­vealed that her haunt­ing last words to sob­bing chil­dren were ‘Don’t worry, I’ll be back by lunch’.

Miss Hain­ing never re­turned to the Scot­tish Mis­sion, where she worked be­tween 1932- 44, and died in the no­to­ri­ous camp in Nazi- oc­cu­pied Poland three months later at the age of 47.

Mrs McDow­ell said: ‘She was such a coura­geous wo­man, very de­ter­mined, con­sid­er­ate and kind.

‘She fol­lowed the Chris­tian ex­am­ple by look­ing af­ter and car­ing for vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren.

‘Her story is an ex­am­ple to us all and must con­tinue to be told to ben­e­fit the next gen­er­a­tion be­cause the world should never for­get the Holo­caust.’

Miss Hain­ing, who is likely to have per­ished in the gas cham­bers, was posthu­mously named as Right­eous Among the Na­tions in Jerusalem’s sa­cred Yad Vashem in 1997 and awarded a Hero of the Holo­caust medal by the UK Gov­ern­ment in 2010.

A new Her­itage Cen­tre will be opened at Dun­score Church later this year and will cel­e­brate the life of Miss Hain­ing, who was born at nearby Lochan­head farm in 1897.

Jane Hain­ing was a Church of Scot­land mis­sion­ary.

The will of Holo­caust vic­tim Jane Hain­ing.

Jane Hain­ing’s ring.

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