A Woman to Know: Hannah Szenes
|Julia Carpenter||Jul 19, 2016|
One needs to feel that one's life has meaning. — Hannah
(image via Wikimedia Commons)
In 1943, Hannah Szenes joined a dangerous mission: a group of Jewish British Army paratroopers had agreed to parachute into Nazi-occupied Europe. 22-year-old Hannah had a mission: rescue captive Jews, stimulate a fledgling resistance movement -- and then get out. She kept a meticulous diary of poetry and observations, recording scraps of verse and her memories from behind enemy lines. After crossing the border into Hungary to stop deportations in 1944, she was captured by the Gestapo and sentenced to death.
Today, Hannah's poetry is taught in schools, and many of her verses have been put to music. She's remembered as a national heroine, the "Joan of Arc of Israel." Before her execution, she wrote a short poem on her cell wall:
One, two, three, eight feet long
Two strides across, the rest is dark
Life is a fleeting question mark ...
I could have been 23 next July.
I gambled on what mattered most, the dice were cast. I lost.
Add to your library list:
Hannah Senesh: Her Life and Diary (Hannah Senesh)
In Kindling Flame: The Story of Hannah Senesh (Linda Atkinson)
Hannah Szenes (Maxine Rose Schur)
Hannah Senesh: A War Hero in the Prime of Her Life (The New York Times)
Hannah Szenes (Jewish Women's Archive)
Fire in my Heart: The Story of Hannah Senesh (Museum of Jewish Heritage)
Poems by Hannah Senesh (The Jewish Week)
Perfect Heroes: The World War II Parachutists (Rachel S. Harris)
Hannah Szenes (The Jewish Virtual Library)
Blessed is the Match: The Life of Hannah Senesh (Roberta Grossman)
A Holocaust Story: Hannah Szenes (Stuff You Missed in History Class)
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