29th October 2014 Budapest, Hungary
With love, Jane: a documentary about Jane Haining (Scottish Holocaust martyr)
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.
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.
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.
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 OrosziThe 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.