Jane Haining, the Only Scot to Receive Yad Vashem’s “Righteous among the Nations” Designation

Sept. 26 2016

A teacher at a school for Jewish girls in Budapest run by the Church of Scotland, Jane Haining refused orders from her superiors to leave Hungary when World War II began. Eventually she was sent to Auschwitz, where she died. Some of her last correspondence was recently discovered in church archives, shedding new light on the details of her story:

Despite being under surveillance, [Haining] managed to keep the children safe for four years until she was betrayed by the cook’s son-in-law, whom she caught eating scarce food intended for the girls. She was arrested by two Gestapo officers—they gave her fifteen minutes to gather her belongings—and charged with eight offenses. She was accused of working among the Jews; weeping when seeing the girls attend class wearing the yellow stars; dismissing her housekeeper; listening to news broadcasts on the BBC; having many British visitors; being active in politics; visiting British prisoners of war; and sending British prisoners of war parcels.

The church has a translation of the last letter Miss Haining wrote—a missive written in German and in pencil to Margit Prem, the Hungarian head teacher who ran the Scottish Mission in Budapest, on a letter-form headed “Konzenstrationslager Auschwitz.” It is dated July15, 1944—two days before she died—and is mainly concerned with the welfare of others, food, and the practical details of the school.

Read more at Scotsman

More about: History & Ideas, Holocaust, Hungary, Righteous Among the Nations, Scotland, Yad Vashem


Israel Is Courting Saudi Arabia by Confronting Iran

Most likely, it was the Israeli Air Force that attacked eastern Syria Monday night, apparently destroying a convoy carrying Iranian weapons. Yoav Limor comments:

Israel reportedly carried out 32 attacks in Syria in 2022, and since early 2023 it has already struck 25 times in the country—at the very least. . . . The Iranian-Israeli clash stands out in the wake of the dramatic events in the region, chiefly among them is the effort to strike a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and later on with various other Muslim-Sunni states. Iran is trying to torpedo this process and has even publicly warned Saudi Arabia not to “gamble on a losing horse” because Israel’s demise is near. Riyadh is unlikely to heed that demand, for its own reasons.

Despite the thaw in relations between the kingdom and the Islamic Republic—including the exchange of ambassadors—the Saudis remain very suspicious of the Iranians. A strategic manifestation of that is that Riyadh is trying to forge a defense pact with the U.S.; a tactical manifestation took place this week when Saudi soccer players refused to play a match in Iran because of a bust of the former Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Suleimani, [a master terrorist whose militias have wreaked havoc throughout the Middle East, including within Saudi borders].

Of course, Israel is trying to bring Saudi Arabia into its orbit and to create a strong common front against Iran. The attack in Syria is ostensibly unrelated to the normalization process and is meant to prevent the terrorists on Israel’s northern border from laying their hands on sophisticated arms, but it nevertheless serves as a clear reminder for Riyadh that it must not scale back its fight against the constant danger posed by Iran.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, Syria