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Hannah Szenes file photo [25249]

Hannah Szenes

Given NameHannah
Born17 Jul 1921
Died7 Nov 1944
CountryHungary, United Kingdom


ww2dbaseHannah Szenes (given name in Hungarian: Anikó) was born to assimilated Jews Béla (a journalist and a playwright) and Catherina Szenes in Hungary in 1921. Her father passed away in 1927. She experienced the prejudice against Jews while attending a Christian school, thus became a Zionist through the Maccabea student organization. She emigrated to Palestine in 1939 and enrolled in the Girls' Agricultural School in Nahalal. In 1941, she joined the Sdot Yam kibbutz on the Mediterranean coast of Palestine. Shortly after, she joined the Haganah paramilitary organization. In 1943, she joined the British Women's Auxiliary Air Force at the rating of Aircraftwoman 2nd Class. Later in the same year, she was recruited into the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and received parachute training in Egypt. In Mar 1944, she was parachuted into Yugoslavia alongside fellow operatives Yoel Palgi and Peretz Goldstein with aims to cross the Yugoslavian-Hungarian border. The three were arrested by Hungarian military policemen after they discovered her British military transmitter. Szenes was tortured for three days at a border facility, and then she was transferred to Budapest, Hungary where the torture continued. Hungarian authorities arrested her mother as a means to persuade her to reveal information about her mission, but Szenes refused to talk. In Oct 1944, she was tried for treason against her home country of Hungary; found guilty, she was executed by firing squad in the following month. Her diary was published in Hebrew in 1946. In 1950, her remains were buried on Mount Herzl, Jerusalem, Israel. In 1993, a Hungarian military court exonerated her.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Dec 2015

Hannah Szenes Timeline

17 Jul 1921 Hannah Szenes was born in Hungary.
14 Mar 1944 Hannah Szenes was parachuted into Yugoslavia as a Special Operations Executive (SOE) operative.
28 Oct 1944 Hannah Szenes was tried for treason against Hungary.
7 Nov 1944 Hannah Szenes was executed by firing squad in Hungary.
5 Nov 1993 Hannah Szenes's family in Israel was informed that a Hungarian military court had exonerated her.


Hannah Szenes in costume of Hungarian uniform, 1930sHannah Szenes in northern Palestine, circa 1941
See all 4 photographs of Hannah Szenes

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Hannah Szenes Photo Gallery
Hannah Szenes in costume of Hungarian uniform, 1930sHannah Szenes in northern Palestine, circa 1941
See all 4 photographs of Hannah Szenes

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