Holocaust victim has ‘restored my faith in humanity’

Pictured ahead of the event at Braes High are Fiona Malcolm. Callum Docherty, Kay Keith of Dunscore Parish Church, World Mission Council secretary the Rev. Ian Alexander, guest Itamar Nitzan and Jessica Reid
Pictured ahead of the event at Braes High are Fiona Malcolm. Callum Docherty, Kay Keith of Dunscore Parish Church, World Mission Council secretary the Rev. Ian Alexander, guest Itamar Nitzan and Jessica Reid

Last Friday was Holocaust Memorial Day, remembering the six millions Jews who were killed during the Nazi genocide in World War Two.

MSP Angus MacDonald hosted pupils Jessica Reid and Callum Docherty from Braes High School at the Scottish Parliament with history teacher Fiona Malcolm and their families.

He said: “I was proud to have met Jessica and Callum and listened to their reflections on the lessons they have learned as part of this project.

“I will strive to continue to pass on these lessons to ensure that the horrors of the past will never be repeated in the future.”

Students have been part of the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Lessons from Auschwitz project and were given the opportunity to visit the concentration camps in Poland in order to learn exactly what the holocaust was, why it happened, and what can be done to prevent a similar situation from ever happening again.

The school brought to life the extraordinary story of a brave Scot who sacrificed herself to protect Jewish girls during the Holocaust through a moving performance by drama students.

It depicted the heartbreaking moment when Jane Haining – the only Scot to be officially honoured for giving her life to help Jews in the Holocaust – was arrested by the Gestapo and taken away to her eventual death.

One of the scenes concluded with Miss Haining, who died in the Auschwitz concentration camp in July 1944, telling sobbing children: “Don’t worry, I’ll be back by lunch”.

Callum said the Church of Scotland missionary had “restored his faith in humanity”.

The performance on Thursday to mark Holocaust Memorial Day was organised by Jess and Callum who are Holocaust Educational Trust ambassadors for the school.

They visited Auschwitz in November and addressed MSPs at the Scottish Parliament last Tuesday.

Jess said: “When you have a link to something through your own country, it makes what happened all the more real because you realise it was people like you who were there and suffered.”

Callum said: “Jane Haining was a courageous woman and her story shows us that, amidst all that evil, people are still capable of good deeds.”

MSP Angus MacDonald with Braes High School pupils Jessica Reid and Callum Docherty at the Scottish Parliament for World Holocaust Memorial Day.

MSP Angus MacDonald with Braes High School pupils Jessica Reid and Callum Docherty at the Scottish Parliament for World Holocaust Memorial Day.