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

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4.29  ·  Rating Details ·  150 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
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'
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Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Jewish Lights Publishing (first published January 1st 1971)
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Barbara
Jul 18, 2011 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: holocaust, ww2
I read this book after seeing the excellent documentary "Blessed is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh" which was very powerful and heartbreaking. This book is quite amazing telling the story of a young woman who was and is a true hero. She was safe during World War II but she volunteered for a mission to help rescue fellow Jews in her native Hungary. Her story is compelling and valuable. The book is a diary and this edition also includes some of Hannah's poems and letters, along wit ...more
Real Supergirl
Sep 29, 2007 Real Supergirl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Jews
Shelves: memoir, jewish
This is an amazing book that collects Hannah Senesh's diary, her letters, and oral history testimonies from people who knew her. She was an incredibly sophisticated young woman even at 13 when the book begins. Her life was tragically cut short at the age of 21; re-reading it this time I was speculating how she could have gone on to become a prime minister of Israel or been a diplomat in the Middle East peace negotiations.

All Jews who care about Judaism and all people who care about Jews and the
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Emily Turner
Oct 03, 2007 Emily Turner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Powerful. Hannah was a Jewish woman (and a poet/playwright) who gave her life fighting as a paratrooper for Britain in 1944. She was captured during a mission, tortured and tried for treason when she refused to give up the code for her transmitter, disclose information about her mission, or reveal the location of her unit. Hannah wrote in her diary until the day of her execution by a firing squad.


In the month of July, I shall be twenty-three/I played a number in the game/The dice have rolled. I
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Jessika Santulli
Hannah Senesh was like any other teenage girl. In her diary, she wrote about her family, friends, boys, school, hopes and dreams. Her aspirations alternated from wanting to become a writer (an aptitude she seemed to have inherited from her late father, a playwright) and a teacher. At times she hoped she could do both. She tutored classmates and her poetry was praised by all who heard it. Although she experienced some Anti-Semitism in school and had to contend with Hungary's increasingly unjust " ...more
Jeffrey Cohan
Apr 06, 2011 Jeffrey Cohan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: judaism, israel, holocaust
I admit I asked myself a few times, “What is a grown man doing reading a teenage girl’s diary?”

Well, I’m glad I did.

“Hannah Senesh: Her Life and Diary,” is both the story of an incredible, heroic young woman and a fascinating first-person, in-real-time account of life in pre-state Israel and in Nazi-ravaged Europe.

The book, which was published in 2007 in conjunction with filmmaker Roberta Grossman’s excellent documentary about Senesh, is divided into three distinct sections.

Most of the book cons
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Vivienne
May 05, 2015 Vivienne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was leant this book, I thought I would only read Hannah's diary as I've never been that keen on memoirs, but her story and her bravery were so incredible I simply had to go on an read her mother's memoirs and the testimony of her mission compatriots. This edition of the book has them all including her poetry. What an amazing person Hannah Senesh was. Completely selfless, a true heroine and an inspiration.
Gilana
Feb 11, 2014 Gilana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think it is a tremendous shame that nobody seems to know about Chana Szenes. She was a brave, remarkable, important woman who wrote beautifully. This is a must read as far as I'm concerned.
Angelina
Sep 13, 2008 Angelina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: radicals
Beautiful and tragic, and above all inspiring.
Velvetink
Read a long time ago, brought back from parents place to re-read.
Neeta
4.5 stars. Hannah Senesh is considered a national heroine of Israel. She kept a diary of her life before and during WWII. Born in Hungary, she touches on the growing anti-Semitism before WWII and its affect on her childhood. She developed a passion for Zionism and actually moved to Israel in her late teens just a few days after the outbreak of WWII. She tells of kibbutz life, her schooling and her love of poetry. While the war is raging in Europe, she fervently joins a parachute mission in the B ...more
stephanie
Jun 19, 2007 stephanie marked it as to-read
rec: amazon. hah.

a girl who lived in palestine, and went back to hungary to help her people, and consequently ended up executed - by hungarian nazi party (i need to go back to the "terror house" museum!!).

oh, my magyar people, how i am enamoured of you! oh, hannah senesh, how forgotten you are in america and general holocaust history!

seriously, there has to be some way to educate the people about the hannah's and the carl lutzenberg's . . . it's kind of shocking how much history comes out of
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Jeannine
Aug 03, 2009 Jeannine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Years after reading Anne Frank's diary, I stumbled upon this book. Since my stepfather was from Hungary, I decided to read it. It was my first time to learn about the elimination of Jews from this country, as it had never been brought up at home. It opened my eyes and made me want to learn more about this conflict and how it had effected the people (Hungarian immigrants) I grew up with in America.
Karen Archambault
Dec 13, 2012 Karen Archambault rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderful and heartbreaking story of a WWII heroine. I was fascinated with her story since I saw the movie "Hannah's War" in high school that was very well done. I couldn't put that book down as she was a woman of substance who fought back the Nazi's for her cause and her mission to save her people. I look forward to seeing the documentary "Blessed is the Match". I highly recommend this book as she made the world a better place.
Jen
Apr 10, 2016 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I knew Hannah's story from seeing an exhibit about her at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. But reading that story in her voice, and the voices of the people who knew her, was powerful. Every student of WWII history needs to read this. I personally think it should be taught in schools, instead of or in addition to The Diary of Anne Frank.
Mikael
Jul 24, 2011 Mikael added it
A wonderful read of a phenomenal woman with such a short, but rich and heroic young life. A beautiful glimpse into one woman's remarkable courage and belief in her country, Israel and an avid Zionist. I was absolutely wowed by her words and poems!
Hildie
Amazing, inspiring, fearless young woman. A mix of her diary, letters, and personal recollections from family and colleagues. Highly recommended.
Jenn
Nov 10, 2009 Jenn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a very long time to finish this inspiring history. She had such courage. I kept hoping she would survive, even though I knew otherwise.
Ben Boukai
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May 05, 2015
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Hannah Szenes was a Hungarian Jew, one of 37 Jews living in Palestine, now Israel, who were trained by the British army to parachute into Yugoslavia during the Second World War in order to help save the Jews of Hungary, who were about to be deported to the German death camp at Auschwitz.

Szenes was arrested at the Hungarian border, imprisoned and tortured, but she refused to reveal details of her m
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“I could have been 23 next July
I gambled on what mattered most, the dice were cast. I lost.”
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