Hanna Szenes remembered in Hungary

Hungary's Holocaust Museum on Monday organized a tribute to Hanna Szenes, a young woman executed for trying to organize Jewish resistance during the Holocaust. Hungarian-born Szenes emigrated to Palestine in 1939 and was part of a group of young Jews sent to Europe in 1944 to try to save others. In March 1944, Szenes parachuted into Yugoslavia, but was caught soon after crossing the border into southern Hungary. Tried for treason, she was executed by firing squad in a Budapest prison yard on November 7, 1944. Among those gathered at the Hanna Szenes Park on Monday was Ibolya Scheer, who once shared a prison cell with Szenes. "Hanna's soul is the only reason I survived in prison," said Scheer, 79, who later named her daughter after Szenes. Others spoke of Szenes's bravery, exemplified by her refusal to wear a blindfold in front of the firing squad. "She never feared to face destiny, and that's what she did when facing the squad before they pulled their triggers," said Gyorgy Vamos, chairman of the Carl Lutz Foundation, named after the Swiss diplomat who helped rescue over 60,000 Jews in Hungary during the Holocaust. Some 550,000 of Hungary's 800,000 Jews were killed during the Holocaust. An estimated 100,000 Jews live in Hungary today.