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Israeli paratroopers recreate partisans’ WWII jump in honor of famous poet

Israeli paratroopers recreate the partisans historic jump during World War II in honor of Hannah Senesh, in Slovenia, on July 20, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli paratroopers recreate the partisans historic jump during World War II in honor of Hannah Senesh, in Slovenia, on July 20, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)

Some 100 Israeli soldiers participated in a parachuting jump in Central Europe as part of a weeklong educational trip in honor of the 100th birthday of the Hungarian-born soldier and poet Hannah Senesh, who was captured and killed by the Nazis after she parachuted into Hungary during World War II.

The jump in Slovenia was staged a short distance from the original site.

The Hungarian-born Senesh immigrated to Palestine in 1939 and quickly joined the Haganah, the forebear of the IDF. During World War II, she joined a Jewish contingent of the British military and parachuted into then-Yugoslavia, continuing on foot to Hungary to meet up with partisans there.

She was captured at the border, interrogated and sentenced to death. Her remains were later moved to Israel and reinterred in the Mount Herzl National Cemetery. Her diary and poetry are still read in Israel today, most famously the poem from which the program derives its name, “Eli, Eli,” or “My God, my God.”

Hannah Senesh with chickens on Mosha Nahalal, part of the Hannah Senesh Collection that is now part of Israel’s National Library (Courtesy: National Library of Israel)

The Israeli participants include current and former Paratroopers Brigade soldiers and officers, including a number of children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors.

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