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Scottish Missionary Who Gave Her Life for Persecuted Jews to be Honored

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2017 Aug 14
  • Comments

A courageous Scottish missionary is being honored in her adopted city of Budapest for her effort to help Jewish schoolgirls escape Nazi oppression during World War II. reports that Jane Haining had been in Budapest as a missionary since 1932. She was working as the matron of the Scottish Mission School. When World War II broke out in Europe, Haining was ordered to return home to Scotland by Church of Scotland officials, but she refused, stating, “If these children need me in days of sunshine, how much more do they need me in days of darkness?”

Haining not only spoke brave words, she lived out her convictions.

She was ultimately arrested in 1944 for protecting her Jewish students from the Nazis. She was taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau where she died.

Her story had largely been forgotten, but now Budapest leaders are hoping to raise awareness of Haining’s bravery by a new exhibition that will be displayed at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest.

Spokesman Zoltan Toth-Heinmann said Haining is a “unique and important” figure. “Jane Haining's story is an important part of the Holocaust history in Budapest, and sometimes, for the general public, it might be neglected,” he said.

Toth-Heinmann added that Haining “was the only one who had the chance to choose if she would stay there and risk her life to save children or just leave and return to Scotland.”

Through the new exhibition, Toth-Heinmann said he hopes children will learn from Haining’s story that “sometimes it is important to make a sacrifice.”


Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/ByczeStudio

Publication date: August 14, 2017