Londonderry link to priceless Auschwitz antique artefact

L-R: Jane McIvor, Antiques Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce and Deirdre McDowell. (Pic courtesy of Church of Scotland)
L-R: Jane McIvor, Antiques Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce and Deirdre McDowell. (Pic courtesy of Church of Scotland)

Two sisters from Londonderry have found out fascinating new details about a long lost ring which belonged to their aunt who died at Auschwitz.

Jane Haining’s jewellery is being analysed by expert John Benjamin for a special episode of BBC One’s Antique Roadshow to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

The group discussing Jane Haining during filming of the Antique's Roadshow. (Pic courtesy of Church of Scotland)

The group discussing Jane Haining during filming of the Antique's Roadshow. (Pic courtesy of Church of Scotland)

In the episode, which will be broadcast tomorrow, he will share with her two nieces, Deirdre McDowell and Jane McIvor, his professional opinion that casts fresh light on the origins of the priceless gold and red Garnet stone artefact, which was recently returned to the Church of Scotland offices.

The two women will discuss with Mr Benjamin the extraordinary story of how Miss Haining was arrested by the Nazis in 1944 for looking after Jewish girls at the Kirk-run Scottish Mission School in Budapest.

The former boarding house matron’s handwritten will, a copy of the last letter she wrote while imprisoned in the concentration camp and photographs will also feature on the programme, which will for the first time its history not attach a monitory value to artefacts.

Taking part was a proud and emotional experience for the two sisters, whose mother Agnes O’Brien was the matron’s half-sister.

Jane Haining's ring. (Pic courtesy of Church of Scotland)

Jane Haining's ring. (Pic courtesy of Church of Scotland)

Mrs McDowell said: “Her story is an example to us all and must continue to be told to benefit the next generation. The world should never forget the Holocaust.”

Jane Haining's will letter. (Pic courtesy of Church of Scotland)

Jane Haining's will letter. (Pic courtesy of Church of Scotland)

Jane Haining. (Pic courtesy of Church of Scotland)

Jane Haining. (Pic courtesy of Church of Scotland)