“i gambled on what mattered most, the dice were cast. i lost”
did rambo say this? no. long before rambo there was hanna. her story was real.
in world war ii, this young woman was part of special operations for the british military. she was on a mission to assist anti-nazi forces and assist jews in hungary. jewishvirtuallibrary.org
she parachuted into europe. at that point, her mission became akin to a suicide mission. germany had already occupied hungary. she continued on to the border of hungary and was arrested.
she was found with a military transmitter. this transmitter which was used to communicate was of interest to her captors. thus device had military intelligence value. she refused to divulge information.
she was taken to a prison, stripped, tied to a chair, then whipped and clubbed for three days. she lost several teeth as a result of the beating.
she was then transferred to a prison and was repeatedly interrogated and tortured. she only revealed her name and refused to provide the transmitter code.
they even arrested her mother and threatened to kill her if she did not cooperate. she refused.
facing a firing squad after a death sentence, she refused to be blindfolded so that she could stare squarely at her executors and her fate.
her memory was an inspiration for a nation that, at the time, was about ready to be reborn. the state of israel.
while a “fictional” rambo became a cultural icon for the united states, this young woman, hanna senesh, became a national hero of her country. when her remains were returned to israel , its was received with a hero’s welcome.
beyond her military deeds, she was a talented poet.
her most famous work is “eli eli.” this poem was made into a song. it has become one of the israel’s unofficial national anthems. it is also considered as the anthem for the holocaust. the movie schindler’s list, when it played in israel, replaced a song to include “eli eli in its place. imdb.com
the english lyrics of eli eli are follows:
“my God, my God
may these things never end:
the sand and the sea
the rustle of the water
the lightning in the sky
man’s prayer.” hebrewsongs.com
the irony of ms. senesh’s fame is the sentiment expressed by her family and friends. from the interviews, their dreams for her were that she would have been able to return home and raise a family.
ms. senesh’s courage and talent should be an inspiration for all.
if you are interested in more posts, click here