Hannah Senesh: Her Life and Diary, the First Complete Edition

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Hero • Martyr • Poet
The inspiring story of a remarkable life cut short.

“I don’t think Hannah wanted to die for the sake of having her memory exalted in history or to prove herself equal to a romantic image she conceived for herself. Her purpose wasn’t to die. She died for her life’s purpose.”
—U.S. Senator John McCain, in Why Courage Matters

Hannah Senesh, poet and Israel’s national heroine, has come to be ...

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Overview

Hero • Martyr • Poet
The inspiring story of a remarkable life cut short.

“I don’t think Hannah wanted to die for the sake of having her memory exalted in history or to prove herself equal to a romantic image she conceived for herself. Her purpose wasn’t to die. She died for her life’s purpose.”
—U.S. Senator John McCain, in Why Courage Matters

Hannah Senesh, poet and Israel’s national heroine, has come to be seen as a symbol of Jewish heroism. Safe in Palestine during World War II, she volunteered for a mission to help rescue fellow Jews in her native Hungary. She was captured by the Nazis, endured imprisonment and torture, and was finally executed at the age of twenty-three.

Like Anne Frank, she kept a diary from the time she was thirteen. This new edition brings together not only the widely read and cherished diary, but many of Hannah’s poems and letters, memoirs written by Hannah’s mother, accounts by parachutists who accompanied Hannah on her fateful mission, and insightful material not previously published in English.

Described by a fellow parachutist as a “spiritual girl guided almost by mysticism,” Hannah’s life has something of value to teach everyone. Now the subject of a feature-length documentary, Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh, Hannah’s words and actions will inspire people from each generation to follow their own inner voices, just as she followed hers.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
On November 7, 1944, a Nazi firing squad in Budapest shot Hannah Senesh, 23, a Hungarian-born Zionist who had spent the previous five years studying and working in Palestine. Hoping to help liberate Jews in her homeland, she had joined the British army, parachuted into Yugoslavia and crossed the border into Hungary. Immediately captured, tortured and jailed, she refused to divulge sensitive information that could compromise her fellow partisans' safety. Since 1946, when her diaries were published in Hebrew, Senesh's story has been told many times, in biographies and film as well as through her own writings. This new edition is similar to a 1972 Schocken book by the same title (out of print). Both include poignant memoirs by Hannah's mother, Catherine, about her gifted daughter's childhood and tragic final months, as well as riveting essays by two of Hannah's fellow soldiers. Both also include Hannah's diary entries from ages 13 to 22 along with a selection of her poems and letters. This Jewish Lights edition adds more diary material, two poems, 12 letters and a handful of photos to those found in the 1972 edition, though curiously for a "complete edition" it has also deleted about 20 diary entries and three letters. For those unfamiliar with the story of Hannah's exceptional courage, this is a moving collection. (Dec.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580232128
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/1/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 315
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Marge Piercy is the author of sixteen novels including Gone to Soldiers; He, She and It; Three Women; and most recently The Third Child. Her memoir is called Sleeping with Cats. She has also written sixteen volumes of poetry including The Art of Blessing the Day: Poems with a Jewish Theme and most recently Colors Passing Through Us. She received an honorary doctorate degree from Hebrew Union College for her contributions to Jewish culture and liturgy.

Eitan Senesh is Hannah Senesh's nephew and chairman of The Hannah Senesh Legacy Foundation, whose aim is to perpetuate the memory of Hannah Senesh and her comrades.

Roberta Grossman, director of Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh, is a producer at Katahdin Productions, a nonprofit documentary company based in Berkeley and Los Angeles, California. For more information or to purchase Blessed Is the Match visit: www.blessedisthematch.com.

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Table of Contents

Foreword vii Marge Piercy Preface xi Eitan Senesh Translator's Preface xiii Marta Cohn Memories of Hannah's Childhood xvii Catherine Senesh The Diary 1 The Letters 167 The Mission The Last Border 223 Reuven Dafne How She Fell 231 Yoel Palgi Meeting in Budapest 253 Catherine Senesh Selected Poems 295 Afterword 309 Roberta Grossman Reader’s Guide 313 Historical Note 317 Notes 321

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    Great

    The story of this girl is happy sad all mixed together

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