Holocaust hero's gravestone moved to Israel

Hannah Senesh's gravestone placed alongside her former home on a kibbutz 63 years after her death.

hannah senesh 224.88 (photo credit: wikipedia)
hannah senesh 224.88
(photo credit: wikipedia)
The gravestone of a young woman executed more than 60 years ago after being caught on a clandestine mission to save Hungarian Jews in the Holocaust has been moved to Israel, officials said Sunday. Hannah Senesh, a Hungarian Jew who parachuted into Nazi-occupied Europe in 1944 to help rescue Jews, was honored on Nov. 7 as her gravestone was placed alongside her former home on a kibbutz farm next to the Mediterranean, Israel's Defense Ministry said. The ceremony marked the 63rd anniversary of her death. Senesh left "a legacy whose essence is civil leadership, the relations between the individual and the collective and our role in this world," Cabinet Minister Ami Ayalon told Haaretz. Ayalon's uncle sent Senesh on the mission to Hungary that led to her death, he said. Senesh emigrated to the British-controlled Palestine in 1939, joining a kibbutz, or communal farm, in northern Israel. She was recruited to join the Haganah and sent on a daring mission to parachute into Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia and sneak into Hungary to help rescue Jews in her former homeland. She was caught crossing the border and later executed by firing squad on charges of treason in a Budapest prison yard on Nov. 7, 1944. She was 23 years old. Some 550,000 of Hungary's 800,000 Jews were killed during the Holocaust. Initially she was interned in a Jewish cemetery in Budapest in an unmarked grave. After the Nazis fell, Senesh's mother found the grave and commissioned a sculptor to erect a gravestone that she never saw completed, Haaretz reported. Senesh's remains were moved to Mount Herzl cemetery in 1950. Senesh is revered in Israel for her poetry that reflects Zionist ideals about kibbutz life. Her last poem, found in her jail cell after her execution detailed her final days before execution, ending with the lines, "I gambled on what mattered most, the dice were cast. I lost."