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Ordinary Heroes: Chana Szenes and the Dream of Zion

Hay, Peter

4 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0399131523 / ISBN 13: 9780399131523
Published by E Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.A.: Putnam Pub Group, 1986
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Bingo Books 2 (Vancouver, WA, U.S.A.)

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hardback book and dust jacket in near fine condition,INSCRIBED by the author. Bookseller Inventory # 28987

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Ordinary Heroes: Chana Szenes and the Dream ...

Publisher: E Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.A.: Putnam Pub Group

Publication Date: 1986

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Inscribed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


On November 7, 1944, a twenty three year old poet and pacifist named Chana Szenes was executed as a spy. Today, she is a national heroine of Israel. The tragic life and often contradictory personality of Chana Szenes reflect the very essence of Israel today: tough-minded but compassionate; idealistic yet activist; serious but with a mischievous sense of fun. At the age of seventeen, Chana had become a Zionist and emigrated alone from her comfortable Budapest home to the swamps of Palestine to build a new country. But as the Holocaust raged throughout Europe, Chana's conscience and her anxiety about friends and family left behind gave her no rest. In 1943, she volunteered for one of the most daring secret missions of World War II: she asked to be parachuted into Nazi- occupied Europe to help organize resistance and escape routes for civilians and Allied airmen trapped there. At last, she made her way back to Hungary, where she was captured. After five months of brutal torture and interrogation, shortly before the liberation of Hungary, she was court-martialed and shot. Drawing on extensive interviews with Chana's family and friends, unpublished diaries, and family letters, Professor Peter Hay compellingly dramatizes the Holocaust and Jewish resistance through the experiences of a single ordinary family: Kato, the mother who stayed home; Gyuri, the son who crossed the Pyrenees on foot and, having escaped the Nazis, returned to fight them; and Chana, the Zionist daughter who sacrificed her life to give hope to her people. But Ordinary Heroes is more than a profound and moving testament to one of modern history's few heroines. A threefold portrait of a courageous young woman. a loving family, and a bold new country, Ordinary Heroes is an important and inspiring story of our times.

From Library Journal:

This dramatic and riveting biography of an Israeli folk hero recounts the story of Szenes, who in September 1939, at age 18, left her comfortable middle-class Hungarian home for Palestine, fired with enthusiasm for the Zionist dream. Five years later, in 1944, she was executed as an Allied spy after having parachuted behind German lines in an abortive rescue mission on behalf of Hungarian Jews. Most biographies of Szenes rightly concentrate on her indomitable heroism and her lyrical, poetic soul. The refreshing feature of this narrative lies in its illumination of the ambivalence experienced by this intellectually gifted teenager who, by sheer willpower, subordinated her profound middle-class urban and cultural interests to the Zionist ideal. Highly recommended for specialist and general reader. Benny Kraut, Judaic Studies Dept., Univ. of Cincinnati
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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