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 heroism wasn’t a fashion. She made a choice to be heroic, but to be heroic in order to be true. 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.
Behind the diary and writings stands an extraordinary human being. Described by a fellow parachutist as “a spiritual girl guided almost by mysticism,” Hannah’s courage and nobility will inspire a new generation of people to follow their own inner voice just as she followed hers.
“A powerful book by a young woman who was and remains a true hero to many people. She had much to teach the world when she lived. She has even more to teach it now.”
—Deborah E. Lipstadt, PhD, Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish and
Holocaust Studies, Emory University
“Her life is an offering, her words a poem, her story an inspiration.”
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.
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.