South Scotland

Dunscore heritage centre plan for Auschwitz victim Jane Haining

Dunscore Church Image copyright Church of Scotland
Image caption The centre will be located inside Dunscore Church

A new heritage centre is to be opened celebrating the life of a Scots missionary who died in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

The facility is expected to open later this year at Dunscore Church in the village where Jane Haining was born.

It will feature photographs, documents and other personal effects.

The scheme is being part-funded by a £106,400 grant awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Historic Environment Scotland (HES).

Ms Haining died in Auschwitz in 1944 at the age of 47.

She is the only Scot to be officially honoured at the Yad Vashem memorial in Israel for giving her life to help protect Jews during the Holocaust.

'Exciting development'

A copy of her handwritten last will and testament, which was found in the Church of Scotland offices in Edinburgh last year, is expected to go on display in the new centre.

The development has been welcomed by Rev Ian Alexander, secretary of the World Mission Council of the Church of Scotland.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Jane Haining died at Auschwitz aged 47

He said: "This is an exciting development for the Dunscore congregation.

"The heritage centre will include information on the life of Jane Haining, a woman who was simultaneously ordinary and extraordinary, and will highlight how her life in the church, the village and the community shaped her, and prepared her for her future work.

"The life of faith weaves itself through the whole history of the village, and having a warm and welcoming church will offer opportunity for people to be transformed today and also go out and change the world."

The heritage centre will also focus on the history of Dunscore Church - the current building dates back to 1823 - and the village.

A memorial cairn for Ms Haining, who was the matron at the Scottish Mission School in Budapest before her death, already stands near Dunscore Church.

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