Items belonging to iconic war hero and poet Hannah Senesh will go on public view
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Items belonging to iconic war hero and poet Hannah Senesh will go on public view

National Library of Israel gets collection of unpublished works, photos and personal items of the Hungary-born heroine who was captured, tortured and executed by the Nazis

Tali is a reporter at Jewish News

  • Hannah Senesh Immigrant Certificate, 1939
    Hannah Senesh Immigrant Certificate, 1939
  • Hannah Senesh childhood drawing for grandmother with Hungarian flag, 1930
    Hannah Senesh childhood drawing for grandmother with Hungarian flag, 1930
  • Hannah and Giora Senesh (Szenes), 1924
    Hannah and Giora Senesh (Szenes), 1924
  • Senesh's last note to her mother found in her dress after her execution
    Senesh's last note to her mother found in her dress after her execution
  • Senesh's iconic poem 'Eli Eli' - 'Oh Lord, My God' ['A Walk to Caesarea'] in her notebook
    Senesh's iconic poem 'Eli Eli' - 'Oh Lord, My God' ['A Walk to Caesarea'] in her notebook
  • Hannah Senesh with chickens on Moshav Nahalal
    Hannah Senesh with chickens on Moshav Nahalal

A collection of unpublished writings, photos and personal items from the war-time paratrooper Hannah Senesh has been given to the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem, where it will be made available to the general public for the first time.

Hannah Senesh was parachuted into occupied Europe by the British army in 1944, during a desperate attempt to rescue downed pilots and save Hungarian Jews from the Nazi death camps.

Captured, tortured and executed at the age of 23, her story and poems, including the well-known ‘A Walk to Caesarea’ (known as ‘Eli, Eli’ / ‘O Lord, My God’), have made Senesh into a major cultural figure.

Hannah and Giora Senesh (Szenes), 1924

A year after her execution, a soldier in the British Army’s Jewish Brigade returned to Kibbutz Sdot Yam in Mandatory Palestine where he found a suitcase full of previously unknown letters, diaries, songs, poems and more under Senesh’s bed.

Hannah Senesh childhood drawing for grandmother with Hungarian flag, 1930

It was this discovery and the subsequent publication of some of her work that made Senesh’s literary contributions known to the world.

The new Hannah Senesh Archival collection includes diaries, family correspondence, photographs, a newspaper she edited at the age of 6, notebooks, personal items, and two notes found in her dress following her execution: her last song and a letter to her mother.

Hannah Senesh with chickens on Moshav Nahalal
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