Holocaust Hero's Will Found in a Box

Jane Haining is called 'Scotland’s Schindler'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2016 11:13 AM CDT
Jane Haining.   (Uncredited)

(Newser) – She was prisoner 79467 at Auschwitz, where she died in 1944. She was also "Scotland’s Schindler," and the sole Scot listed as "righteous among the nations" at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Israel. Now, a new window into the life of Jane Haining by way of a handwritten will found in a box in the Edinburgh archives of the Church of Scotland, which she served as a missionary. The will is dated two years before the death of Haining, who worked with Jewish girls at a church-run school in Budapest. Haining defied repeated directives to return home when the war broke out—writing, "if these children need me in days of sunshine, how much more do they need me in days of darkness"—and safeguarded students for four years until she was turned in by the school cook's son-in-law, whom she had chided for eating food intended for the girls, reports the National.

She was arrested for offenses that included crying upon seeing her girls bearing yellow stars, reports the Scotsman. The will "lays out what her legacies are to be and who is to receive her wireless, typewriter, fur coat, and watches," explains Rev. Ian Alexander, secretary of the Church of Scotland World Mission Council, per the Evening Times. "It is a wonderful document ... [that] gives a sense she was fully aware of the risks she was taking." The box the will was found in also contained photos of Haining with the girls; a copy of her final letter, written two days before her death at age 47; and papers detailing Bishop Laszlo Ravasz's attempts to get her released from the concentration camp, where she survived for just a few months, reports the Guardian. (This woman was deep inside the Nazi regime, still says she knows nothing.)

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