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Cousin of Hannah Szenes criticizes event commemorating her


After an international skydiving in honor of Hannah Szenes in the Slovenian countryside, Szenes’ cousin spoke out against the event.

About 100 Israeli paratroopers, along with Hungarian, Slovenian, Croatian and British paratroopers, took part in the event as part of the “Lightning of the Heavens” delegation commemorating Jewish paratroopers dropped in Nazi-controlled areas to fight. The drop occurred on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Hannah Szenes, the state’s first female paratrooper.

However, Szene’s cousin, Eitan Szenes, was critical of the event.

“The State of Israel should not have involved Hungarian paratroopers in the event – it hurts the family. I don’t think the person who killed my aunt should celebrate her 100th birthday. In Hungary they are trying to make my aunt a national heroine, it’s delusional and annoying,” he said.

Hannah Szenes parachuted into the former Yugoslavia in 1944 and was arrested by the Hungarian police. She was tortured in prison and tried for treason, and later that year was executed by firing squad.

Eitan Szenes has previously spoken out against the Hungarian commemoration of his aunt. In 2007, Eitan Szenes fought to get his aunt’s tombstone from Hungary to Kibbutz Sdot Yam, where she lived before her death.

In an interview with the Jewish Telegraph Agency at the time, Eitan Szenes explained his motivations behind the move: “Israel, especially the kibbutz, where the Szenes family started a museum in Hannah’s honor, is the right place for it. Hannah’s memory is better preserved in Israel, where she is in the curriculum of all schools, unlike in Hungary, where very few know who she was.”


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