Hannah Szenes


Hannah Szenes once wrote:

“There are stars whose radiance is visible on Earth though they have long been extinct. There are people whose brilliance continues to light the world even though they are no longer among the living. These lights are particularly bright when the night is dark. They light the way for humankind.”

She was a playwright and a poet, and she was a Special Operations Executive (SOE) paratrooper, one “of 37 Jewish parachutists of Mandate Palestine parachuted by the British Army into Yugoslavia during the Second World War to assist in the rescue of Hungarian Jews about to be deported to the German death camp at Auschwitz.”

She was only in her early 20s then.

And so it was on March 14, 1944 that she was parachuted into Yugoslavia. At the Hungarian border she was arrested by Hungarian gendarmes, “who found her British military transmitter, used to communicate with the SOE and other partisans.

Hannah was taken to a prison, stripped, tied to a chair, then whipped and clubbed for three days. She lost several teeth as a result of the beating. The guards wanted to know the code for her transmitter so they could find out who the parachutists were and trap others. Transferred to a Budapest prison, Szenes was repeatedly interrogated and cruelly tortured, but she only revealed her name and refused to provide the transmitter code.”

She was tried for treason on October 28th, 1944 and executed by firing squad on November 7th, 1944.

Three years earlier, in 1941, she wrote:

“To die,
so young to die.
No, no, not I,
I love the warm sunny skies,
light, song, shining eyes,
I want no war, no battle cry,
No, no, not I.”

Sources: Hannah Senesh: Her Life and Diary & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannah_Szenes

Josephine Baker

Freda Josephine

Freda Josephine McDonald, who would become known as Josephine Baker, was a dancer, a singer, an actress, the first African-American woman to star in a major motion picture.

She was also a mother of 12. To the rainbow tribe as she affectionately called her children.

For Josephine, growing her family started while she was active in the Civil Rights Movements. She stood for peace and equality, a believer that children of different ethnicities and religions could still be brothers and sisters. She wanted to show this principle with her own family. So she started adopting children from different backgrounds.

Teddy Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt diary entry

Teddy Roosevelt lost his mother (typhoid fever) and his wife (kidney failure) on the same day. The photo is of his diary entry from that day.

Teddy struggled with their deaths. The young man, just 25 years old, a member of the New York State Assembly and a father (his wife gave birth two days before her death), decided to move.

He put his daughter in the care of his sister, left his political life, and settled in the Dakota territories. There he became a rancher and a sheriff, read and wrote history, but really you could say he took the time to cope with the deaths.

After two years he came back home, where he took over raising his daughter and returned to his political life.