Hannah’s Last Note
Stand for Israel | December 2, 2020
Earlier this year, we told you the story of Hannah Szenes, a Jewish writer who left the Holy Land during WWII in order to fight the Nazis in Europe, including some of Hannah’s last words. Writing at The Times of Israel, Amit Naor tells us more about this writer and this fighter, a woman of God who gave her life in service to her people, His people, the Jewish people, Israel:
Anyone who even casually follows the course of Hannah Senesh’s life quickly discovers her biography’s common thread: Hannah Senesh (often spelled Szenes) never stopped writing.
Even before she learned to write herself, she composed poems and stories. When she was a teenager, she was accepted to the literary council of her prestigious school (though she was forced her to give up her place due to anti-Semitism). From the moment she arrived in Mandatory Palestine, she wrote — first in Hungarian and then, very quickly, in Hebrew, as well. She even continued writing when she returned to European soil, after embarking on the parachute mission from which she never returned. In fact, Senesh continued writing until her final moments. She even wrote a poem while being held in her prison cell.
The Hannah Senesh Collection at the National Library of Israel preserves the very last lines Senesh wrote in her lifetime. Following her execution, a tiny, brief note was found in her dress, written in Hungarian. It was addressed to her mother, Katherine, as Hannah, who never stopped writing her whole life, finally chose to emphasize the value of silence:
Dear mother, I don’t know what to tell you. I will only say this: A thousand thanks and more, and forgive me, if you can. After all, you will understand, better than anyone else, that words are not necessary now. With great love, your daughter.