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Hannah Senesh

Born into an “assimilated” Jewish family in 1921 as Hungary drifted towards brutal antisemitism, Hannah Senesh moved to Palestine in 1939 where she lived on a Kibbutz and studied Zionism.


In 1943 Senesh volunteered for the British army as a parachutist delivering relief to partisan forces. She was particularly keen to help Jews in her native Hungary and in March 1944 parachuted into Yugoslavia and billeted with Tito’s partisans.

Hannah Senesh

At the height of the deportations of Hungarian Jews Senesh entered Hungary over the border in an attempt to sabotage the deportations. She was arrested by the police and handed over to Nazis for torture.

Senesh refuse to hand over details of her mission which led to her family being put in great jeopardy. She was sent to trial in October 1944 but refused to answer questions.

As a Hungarian citizen and a Jew there was absolutely no compunction in sentencing her to death. She refused a blindfold and was executed by a firing squad on November 7th 1944.