On the Way to Heaven

The Fellowship  |  February 10, 2016

On the Way to Heaven

Jane Haining

Life: June 6, 1897 – August 16, 1944

Why you should know her: Jane Haining was a Scottish missionary who looked after Jewish children in Hungary and who was murdered at Auschwitz concentration camp.

Jane Haining was born in rural Scotland and raised in the United Free Church. After her schooling and a decade working as a secretary, Jane volunteered to do mission work in Hungary.

Arriving in Budapest in 1932, Jane was the matron of the city’s Scottish Mission School, where she cared for the Jewish students.

Although Jane was in England when World War II broke out, she disobeyed orders to stay there, returning to care for “her girls” in Budapest. And when the Nazis overran Hungary in 1944, Jane again refused to leave her beloved children.

It was that year she was arrested by the Gestapo for, among many charges, working with Jews and listening to the BBC. A month later she was deported to Auschwitz, where she was tattooed with number 79467 in May, 1944. On July 15, she was able to send a postcard to friends, detailing the horrible conditions and asking for food. She wrote: “There is not much to report here on the way to heaven.”

Jane died a month later, either from illness in the camp’s hospital or in the gas chambers. For her selfless friendship to the Jewish people she was named Righteous Among the Nations in 1997.

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