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Szenes memorial moved to Israel

A memorial statue of Hannah Szenes was moved to Israel from a Budapest Jewish cemetery. “The statue is on its way now to Israel and will be put up in Kibbutz Sdot Yam, where Hannah lived until 1943, when she left for her tragic mission to Europe during WWII,” Eitan Szenes, Hannah’s nephew, told JTA in Budapest. It was Eitan Szenes’ idea to move the 15-foot-tall, statue-shaped gravestone to Israel.”Israel, especially the kibbutz, where the Szenes family initiated a museum honoring Hannah, is the right place for it. Hannah’s memory is better kept in Israel, where she is in the curriculum of all the schools, unlike in Hungary, where only very few know who she was,” Eitan Szenes told JTA. The Hungarian-born Szenes, who made aliyah in 1939 at age 18, parachuted into Hungary in 1944 as a volunteer soldier of the British Army. She was captured by the Nazis and executed by Hungarian authorities in Budapest at age 23. In 1950, Szenes’ remains were moved from Budapest to Israel, where she was laid to rest in a state ceremony on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. A new memorial — a black stone with Hebrew and Hungarian writing outlining the most important dates in Szenes’ life — was installed at the Budapest cemetery last week after the original was taken to Israel. Attending the inauguration ceremony for the new memorial were Hungarian Justice Minister Jozsef Petretei, Israeli Ambassador David Admon and leaders of the Hungarian Jewish community and the Zionist Youth Movement.