Derry relatives of Auschwitz victim to appear on Antiques Roadshow
Two sisters from Derry will appear on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow on Sunday where they will hear new information about a long-lost ring that belonged to their aunt who died in Auschwitz.
Jane Haining worked in Germany as a missionary but was arrested by the Nazis in April 1944 for looking after Jewish girls at the Kirk-run Scottish Mission School in Budapest, Hungary.
The Scottish woman’s jewellery is analysed by expert John Benjamin for the special episode of the BBC One programme being broadcast to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.
Deirdre McDowell and Jane McIvor are given information on the origins of the artefact, which was recently returned to Church of Scotland offices in Edinburgh.
The former boarding house matron's handwritten will, a copy of the last letter she wrote and photographs will also feature on the programme.
Miss Haining, who grew up in Dunscore, Dumfries and Galloway, never returned to the school, where she worked between 1932 and 1944, after her arrest and died in the death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland at the age of 47.
Mrs McDowell said: "It is emotional and truly wonderful that the BBC is making this special programme which provides us with the opportunity to tell Jane's amazing story.
"She was such a courageous woman, very determined, considerate and kind.
"She followed the Christian example by looking after and caring for vulnerable children. Our family is honoured and humbled by Jane's actions.
"Her story is an example to us all and must continue to be told to benefit the next generation because the world should never forget the Holocaust."
BBC programme experts have not attached a value to the artefacts and a gold red garnet ring which are described as priceless because of the stories attached to them.
Mrs McIvor added: "It was a very moving day and a great honour to be here amongst people who have tremendous stories of courage and resilience.
"I was named after Jane Haining, so I consider her a guide and mentor.
"If we can do anything, in any small measure, that Jane did, our world would be a different and much better place."
Miss Haining was posthumously named as Righteous Among the Nations in Jerusalem's sacred Yad Vashem in 1997 and awarded a Hero of the Holocaust medal by the UK Government in 2010.
Rev Ian Alexander, secretary of the world mission council of the Church of Scotland, said: "Jane Haining's story is one of heroism and personal sacrifice.
"She was a woman who was simultaneously ordinary and extraordinary."