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Jonathan Knott

Former British ambassador to Hungary, Budapest

Part of UK in Hungary

29th October 2014 Budapest, Hungary

With love, Jane: a documentary about Jane Haining (Scottish Holocaust martyr)

Probably the last photo of Jane Haining from January 1944

Guest blog by Lídia Bánóczi, producer of IKON Stúdió Egyesület. The film, recently finished with the support of the British Embassy in Budapest, pays tribute to Jane Haining (1897 Dunscore, Scotland  – 1944 Auschwitz), the martyr matron of the Girls’ Home of the Scottish Mission in Budapest. The documentary was filmed in Budapest and Scotland, with the help of letters and photos recently found in bequest, various documents from archives, and interviews with former pupils, Church officials and researchers. The film will be aired on Hungarian Television channel M1 on All Hallows’ Day (1 November 2014) at 10.35AM.

Ikon Stúdió Egyesület is a nonprofit independent film making workshop. I happen to be the grand niece of school director Prém Margit, friend and colleague of Jane Haining. Research for the film had been triggered by some Jane Haining letters and photos found among family documents concerning the Scottish Mission.  We made the film about Miss Jane Haining with director Kormos Gyula and director of photography Kiss Aurél, the music was composed by Wizner Balázs.

The team in Dunscore with Pam Mitchell from the local parish church, who is taking care of Haining’s memory in her birthplace.
The team in Dunscore with Pam Mitchell from the local parish church, who is taking care of Haining’s memory in her birthplace.

Miss Haining, native of the village of Dunscore in Scotland, arrived in Budapest  in 1932 to fill  the post of matron of the Girls’ Home at the Scottish Mission School in Vörösmarty Street. At the outburst of the Second World War she was ordered back to Scotland but she chose to stay on her own responsibility so that she can tend to the mostly Jewish  pupils in her care among the more and more grim circumstances.

Following the German Occupation she was arrested by the Gestapo and eventually taken to Auschwitz. Her last sign of life was a postcard dated July 1944 sent to her friend, the retired director of the Scottish Mission School.

Probably the last photo of Jane Haining from January 1944
Probably the last photo of Jane Haining from January 1944

Research and preparation for the film, plus a one-person field trip to Scotland sites (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dunscore, Dumfries)  pointed to the need to present more emphatically Haining’s childhood and youth, her life before Budapest, and relics preserved in Scotland in order to make clear her motivations.  We also wanted to include in our film the local communities  taking care of Haining’s memory. The shooting in Scottish locations was made possible by the supplementary support of the British Embassy.

On the way between Dunscore and Glasgow
On the way between Dunscore and Glasgow

The English subtitled version of the film can be viewed after 1 November at http://www.janehainingfilm.hu/ and at http://www.jane-haining.com/, where we continually upload extra materials and documents that could not be included in the film.

Photos: Beatrix Oroszi

 
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the British government.

2 comments on “With love, Jane: a documentary about Jane Haining (Scottish Holocaust martyr)

  1. Fantastic. Article God bless them all…I’ll see if my auld pal Hugh Wilson knows of her..Thanks for sharing..

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About Jonathan Knott

Jonathan Knott was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Hungary in March 2011 and arrived in Budapest in February 2012 to take up his post. He left this post on April…

Jonathan Knott was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to
Hungary in March 2011 and arrived in Budapest in February 2012 to take
up his post. He left this post on April 2015.
He has previously held a variety of diplomatic posts at home and
abroad, several with a particular focus on commercial and corporate
finance issues. Jonathan has served in a number of positions in the
British Diplomatic Service since joining in 1988:
Before his appointment was Deputy Head of Mission and Director for Trade and Investment in South Korea from 2008 to 2011.Between 2005 and 2008 he held the post of Deputy Finance Director in the FCO.From 2000 to 2005 he served as First Secretary (Trade, Corporate Affairs and Finance Negotiator) in UKDel OECD Paris.From 1996 to 2000 he was First Secretary (Head of Political/Economic/Aid Section) in Mexico.From 1995 to 1996 he worked in the FCO as Deputy European Correspondent at the EU Directorate.Between 1991 and 1995 he served as Third later Second Secretary (Political / Press and Public Affairs) in Havana.From 1990 to 1991 he was Desk Officer in the FCO’s First Gulf War Emergency Unit.Between 1988 and 1990 he worked as Desk Officer in the FCO in the Anti Drugs Cooperation Department.
Jonathan holds an MA in law from Oxford University, and he is a
member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He speaks
English, French, Spanish and Hungarian. He is married to Angela Susan
Knott and has one daughter and two sons.

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