Museums And Culture
Hannah Senesh is not only a legend, but a Jewish heroine from an era long before feminism arose. Born into a wealthy, assimilated, Hungarian family, no one would have expected her to leave her home and easy life in 1939 to go and help the fledgling Jewish state-in-the-making. After studying in an agricultural college she joined Kibbutz Sadot Yam and the Hagana, the paramilitary forerunner of the Israel Defense Forces. By this time it was becoming clear that the Jews of Europe were in terrible danger and the Israeli paramilitary groups decided to temporarily join forces with the British army to fight the Nazis.
After training with the British in Egypt, Hannah was one of 37 volunteers who parachuted into Nazi Europe on a mission to assist Jews fleeing Europe. Tragically, Hannah was captured, tortured, and eventually, after not giving up any information regarding her mission, was sentenced to death and killed by a firing squad.
She left behind a suitcase full of her poetry and writings, including a diary she had started when she was still a Hungarian teenager, in Sadot Yam. It captured much of her life as the entries date right up until she left on her mission to Europe. Her sensitive writing is best exemplified by her most famous poem, Walk to Caesarea, an Israeli classic set to music.