A Holocaust Hero and Her Girls

Stand for Israel  |  January 23, 2023

Jane Haining with the Jewish girls she sheltered from the Nazis

A Scottish missionary, Jane Haining looked after Jewish children in Hungary, an act of kindness that led to her murder in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

Born in rural Scotland and Jane Haining grew up 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 acted as matron of the city’s Scottish Mission School, where she cared for the Jewish students.

Although in England when World War II broke out, Jane 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, the same children seen in the photo above, with Jane during happier days.

The Gestapo arrested Jane in April 1944 for, among many charges, working with Jews and listening to the BBC. A month later, the Nazis deported Jane to Auschwitz and tattooed her with number 79467. On July 15, she sent 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 Jane Haining earned the title of Righteous Among the Nations in 1997.

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