The Extraordinary Life And Legacy Of Hungarian Jew Hannah Senesh
During World War II, a brave and unassuming hero was produced. Her name was Hannah Senesh. She was a diarist, poet, playwright and parachutist in the Jewish resistance under the British Armed Forces during World War II was born and died in Budapest Hungary.
Hannah Senesh was born on July 17, 1921 to a highly cultured and influential Jewish family. Her father, Bela was a celebrated author and playwright, who sadly passed away when she was just six years of age. In those early years of Hannah’s life, Hungarian Jews enjoyed freedom and civil rights and dismissed the idea of a war torn land. Eventually, however, Hannah realized the gravity of her country’s future and could not understand or accept the control over Jewish people that so many had, so she decided to do something about it.
After being enrolled in a parochial school, where her mother was forced to pay three times the amount of tuition simply because Hannah was Jewish, Hannah realized the situation of the Jews in Hungary was becoming precarious, so she joined the Maccabea, which was a Hungarian Zionist organization. In 1939, Hannah Senesh immigrated to Palestine in order to study at the Girl’s Agricultural School at Nahalal. From there, she joined the Haganah which was a paramilitary group that laid the foundation of the Israel Defense Forces. She enlisted in the British Army where she was trained as a paratrooper for Special British Operations in order to save the Jews of Hungary who were about to be deported to the German death camp in Auschwitz.
In 1944, after defiantly headed towards the Hungarian border, without the assistance of her two male companions, Hannah Senesh was captured and put in jail where she was tortured by being tied to a chair, stripped, whipped and clubbed by instigators, but Hannah never gave up any information regarding the purpose of her mission. She was tried for treason and executed by firing squad at the age of 23 even before her verdict was read.
What makes the story of Hannah Senesh so poignant is the diaries she kept, the letters she wrote and the poems she created detailing the way life was during those years. The diaries begin when she was the age of thirteen and it speaks of typical teenager ideas and issues. As her age progresses, so does her belief in doing what is right for the greater good and is detailed exceptionally well in her diaries and letters to her mother. Hannah Senesh is regarded as a national heroine in Israel. Her poetry is widely known in Israel and other parts of the world. Her diaries have been fully preserved and is a testimony of her life, her inner thoughts, struggles and life decisions, and above all, her uniqueness.