Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Visit to Mount Herzl

This blog is from Museum educator Monica Brandwein who recently returned from a trip to Israel where she was visiting family and friends including her brother who is studying there for a year.

After learning about the life of Hannah Senesh in the current special exhibition, Fire in My Heart, I found myself drawn to her story. Therefore, I thought it was important to make the time to visit her grave during my trip to Israel. Hannah is buried at Mount Herzl, a large cemetery in Jerusalem where many important figures of the state of Israel are buried. When I finally found her grave there was a large Birthright group standing around it. The leader of the group was playing a recording of her poem Eli, Eli. Immediately I was brought to tears. It was amazing to see how many people were there to pay their respects. After the song was over, two of the soldiers that were with the group lit a candle on her tombstone. The sight of this was so moving and inspiring. After the Birthright group left, several young women in the Israeli Army arrived. The leader of the group began to explain in Hebrew who Hannah Senesh was and why she was buried there. This experience opened my eyes to the important role Hannah Senesh played during World War II and in Israeli history and how she has become so special to so many people.

1 comment:

Paweł said...

I have this weird double feelings towards Hannah Senesh (or Szenes Anikó in Hungarian). On one hand this is a very emotional private symbolic story of a women in those terrible times - the sign of will to act, will to change and even to die. On the other hand, when you start thinking about the background political situation in the region and even further - what the relation between her and Kastner in Hungary, this becomes far sadder story of a much greater meaning and causes reflection on passivity during that time.