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Anna Szenes house

"I want to believe that what I did and will do is right. As for the rest... only time will tell."

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Anna was born in Budapest

July 17- Anna was born in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, the daughter of Katrina and Bella Szenes, a famous playwright, and the sister of Giora.

Bella Szenes passed away at age thirty three

May 26- Father Bella Szenes passed away. "My dearest father was snatched away before his time. We will never see him again…"

Anna begins her studies at Protestant Gymnasium for Girls.


Anna studies at Protestant Gymnasium for Girls

January, 1933 - Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany.

Anna is 13 years old and starts writing a diary.

Anna is 13 years old and starts writing a diary.
"In the afternoon we went to the synagogue..."
"We visited the opera house. We saw 'The Barber of Seville."

From Anna's diary

"…I like to skate and I'm also a member of the sports club…"
"In the play, 'The Tragedy of Man', I play the role of the angel Mikhail…"
My report card only had A's... Apart from French."
"My ideal guy: He must be good-looking, but not a dandy, play sports, but also be knowledgeable about other fields, be educated and smart, cheerful…"
"I wrote two poems... one for Mother and the other...again about life…"
"Mother sometimes plays Chopin's compositions [on the piano] and the music is so beautiful that I just want to burst into tears."

Hitler withdraws from the Treaty of Versailles and ends the military restrictions imposed on Germany after World War I. September, 1935 - Nuremberg Laws (Race Laws) are enacted in Germany.

"Today was the premiere. I wrote the play and even directed it…"

"Once again, I'm seized by the ambition to be a writer. It feels so wonderful to write something good."
"Today was the premiere. I wrote the play and even directed it…"
"I serve as Treasurer of the Shorthand Circle and Secretary of the Bible Circle."
"Today I had an English lesson. I also like the language."
"I'm still reading War and Peace by Tolstoy."
"Today I got a private student and I have to teach her math."

"In my term diploma, I got an "A" in everything but painting"

"In my mid-term diploma, I got an "A" in everything but art."
"I wore a long blue taffeta dress for the first time. Everyone said that it suited me."
"I'm afraid of getting addicted to writing and getting used to the thought that I'm talented, yet I can't stop writing either, and I don't want to."
"Another candidate was put forward, with the express intention of preventing my election, because I'm a Jew."
"I'm beginning to understand what it means to be a Jew in Christian society... but in no way would I be able to convert to Christianity."
"Religion, in my opinion, is of great value in life and is ridiculous is the opinion... that faith is a crutch for the weak only…"

"One thought constantly preoccupies me: the Land of Israel."

March - Germany annexes Austria
May - in Hungary laws discriminating Jews are enacted.
September - The Munich Agreement, Czechoslovakia is annexed to Germany.
Giora Szenes moves to Lyon, France to study textile [design?]
"The events have caused us so much excitement... Will the Czech Republic declare enlistment in order to protect the Sudetes? And what will England and France say and whom will Italy join?"
"Purim is behind us. The dance was successful... I danced last night as well. There were some pretty pleasant guys there, but I didn't like any of them that much to continue with them."
"There's been a fundamental change in my worldview... I'm tired of this empty gang of converts. I would love to go to Israel already. I can't stand my old friends."
"One thought constantly preoccupies me: the Land of Israel."
November – "Kristallnacht" in Germany.

Anna completes her studies in the gymnasium and learns Hebrew in preparation for her immigration to the Land of Israel

September 1 - The German army invades Poland. Britain and France declare war on Germany. World War II starts.
April - Anna visits her brother in Lyon in France.
June - Anna graduates from the Gymnasium and completes her matriculation exam.
Anna starts writing in Hebrew in her diary.
In a farewell letter to her Judaism teacher: "In truth, these were hours dedicated to the soul. They gave us the Jewish consciousness and taught us that we are Jews and that Judaism is a great legacy... we learned to ask for God."
In a farewell letter to the Jewish student movement "Makkabiah": "There is one place on earth where we aren't immigrants, we're not even refugees - rather, we're coming home... to the Land of Israel."
יולי 1939

"I am in the Jezreel Valley, I have finally arrived home."

July - "I got it! I got the certificate!"
September 20 - Anna arrives to the Land of Israel. She begins her studies at the Girls' Agricultural School at Nahalal.
"I am in the Jezreel Valley, in Nahalal. I have finally arrived home."
יולי 1939

"I feel that I cannot live without writing."

May - France surrenders to the German army.
“From where will I find the patience to study and prepare for the exam while Europe is fighting its biggest battle in human history? The days ahead will determine the future of the world... And if the entire world is standing on the verge of an abyss, it is hard to deal with the little questions."
October - First poem in Hebrew: "In the bonfires of war... I pass my small lamp, to search, to search for a human being..."
"I have much faith in the future of the land, even within every fire and storm."
"And mother - I see her before me on sleepless nights, how she wakes up in the morning full of worries..."
Yom Kippur Eve: "My desire to confess, to answer to myself, to answer to God, means to measure my life and my actions against a higher ideal..." "I feel that I cannot live without writing."

"Sometimes I feel like I'm some kind of emissary, who has a duty... Sometimes it seems as though all this is nonsense... Why me?"

"Sometimes I feel like I'm some kind of emissary, who has a duty... Sometimes it seems as though all this is nonsense... Why me?"
"I can't do anything, but I can't sit by passively either..."
March – In North Africa, the British army fights the German and Italian armies. Italian planes bomb Haifa and Tel Aviv. Thousands of young Jews from the Land of Israel enlist in the British Army.
April - The German army occupies Greece and Yugoslavia. The Land of Israel fears invasion from Syria and Lebanon.
Anna writes in Nahalal: "If we stop, you will have to carry the heavy burden..." [from her poem, 'To the Brothers'].
June – The British army occupies Syria and Lebanon and removes the threat from the north of the Land of Israel.
June 22 - the German army invades the Soviet Union. The extermination of the Jews begins.
Submarine war in the Atlantic Ocean.
"I received a telegram from Mother and realized how anxious she is and how worried she is about me."
September - Anna completes her studies in Nahalal. Considers joining a kibbutz.
December - Joins the Sdot Yam group in Kiryat Haim. December 7th - The Japanese army attacks Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The United States declares war on Japan. The Japanese army occupies parts of Southeast Asia.

"I'm plagued by extreme doubt... I stand on my feet nine hours a day, washing laundry, and I ask myself if this is really my purpose?"

"I'm plagued by extreme doubt... I stand on my feet nine hours a day, washing laundry, and I ask myself if this is really my purpose?"
"I think quite a bit about recruiting. The entire country is being recruited for the war effort, a war that is approaching us..." June - the U.S. Navy defeats the Japanese
fleet at the Battle of Midway.
June – The German army approach Alexandria in Egypt. The British prepare to retreat from the Land of Israel.
The Jewish Yishuv fears a German invasion from Egypt.
July – In Auschwitz-Birkenau the Germans begin the annihilation of the Jews.
October – The Battle of El Alamein. The German army retreats. The threat is removed from the Land of Israel.
November – The German army approaches Moscow. The Battle of Stalingrad and the Siege of Leningrad.
November 24 – Official confirmation of the news regarding the extermination of the Jews of Europe. The Land of Israel declares three days of mourning.
November - Anna moves to Caesarea. Writes her poems: "A Walk to Caesarea" [Eli Eli] and "On the Way".
December – The Red Army wins the Battle of Stalingrad.

Anna joins the Paratroopers Delegation

January - "I've been chosen to be in charge of the produce and kitchen storeroom... I have no desire to do this job..." "I live here like a drop of oil in the water, sometimes afloat and sometimes submerged, but always in a world of my own, never merging with any other drop.
" "Some bodies light up without a ray of light falling on them from a foreign body. Can I also be like them?"
"I had this sudden idea that I had to go to Hungary. Help the youth movement organization and bring Mother, and although I'm aware of the absurdity [chuckle] of this idea, it still seems feasible to me."
February – The German army surrenders in Stalingrad.
"How long can you live without air? How long without food? And how many days without company and a book? I'm conducting this interesting experiment on myself."
Anna accepts the offer to join the paratroopers' delegation.
May - "I'm waiting for the day they'll call me."
July – The Red Army launches an attack westward.
The Allied army lands in Sicily and begins the occupation of Italy.
June – The kibbutz meeting confirms Anna's recruitment. She starts her military training for the mission in Europe.
"There was no coincidence in the turn of events in my life. It was all an internal necessity and at the same time stood up from an argument...in any other way I was unhappy."
January - Anna moves to Egypt to complete her military training and prepares to leave for Europe.
In a letter to her brother Giora: "...There are events in which human life becomes nothing, a worthless toy, or a demand to do something, even at the cost of life itself...

"There are events in which human life becomes nothing, a worthless toy, or a demand to do something, even at the cost of life itself..."

February 3, 1944 - Anna comes to a vacation in the Land of Israel. She meets her brother Giora, who arrives from Spain.
March 14 – Anna, Yonah Rosen, Abba Berdychev, and Ruben Daphne drop in northern Yugoslavia.
March 19 – The Germans take over Hungary. The Germans start sending the Jews to Auschwitz.
May -The United States Army start launching an attack in the Pacific Islands.
June 1944

Anna is caught and executed

June – Allied forces land in Normandy in France. The Allies capture the south of Italy
June 8 – At the border crossing, Anna hands Ruben Daphne the song "Blessed is the Match"
June 10 - Anna is caught after the border crossing to Hungary.
June 17 - Anna meets her mother in prison.
August - The Red Army liberates Romania and Bulgaria and starts approaching Budapest.
October 28 - Anna's trial begins.
November 7 - Anna is executed. Katarina escapes a death march, returns to Budapest, and hides in a monastery until the end of the battles in the city.
June 1944

Katerina Szenes arrives in the Land of Israel

January-April - Budapest and Hungary are occupied by the Red Army.
January 27 - Camp Auschwitz is liberated.
April - The Russian and American armies meet on German soil.
May 8 - The Red Army completes the occupation of Berlin.
9 May – Germany surrenders unconditionally.
July - Official announcement by the British Army of Anna's death.
August 6 - Atomic bombs are dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan surrenders unconditionally.
October 30 - Katerina Szenes arrives in the Land of Israel.

Anna becomes a national hero.

First edition of the book "Anna Szenes – Journals, Song, Testimonies".
Anna becomes a national hero.

Anna Szenes House

March 27-28 - Anna Szenes coffin arrives from Hungary and is buried at a state funeral at the paratroopers' plot in Mount Herzl.
Anna Szenes House is inaugurated in Kibbutz Sdot Yam.

Ma'agan Disaster

July 29 - Ma'agan Disaster. At a memorial ceremony noting ten years to the paratroopers' delegation, a light plane crashes into the crowd. In the disaster, 17 of the ceremony's participants perish, four of whom were paratroopers who returned from Europe.


Anna’s mother tongue was Hungarian, but in Hebrew her poetry became clear and developed into her own unique voice. In her first Hebrew poem, “The Fires of War”, written in Nahalal in 1940, we notice the noticeable common denominator of most of her poems – the struggle to maintain humanity in the darkest days known by mankind and the knowledge of the Jewish people. The day after the horrifying news of the annihilation of European Jewry was confirmed, Anna wrote her famous poem “A Walk to Caesarea”, known as “Eli Eli…”. The lyrics of the song, which is a kind of prayer, accurately express Anna’s Jewish faith and humanistic view. In May 1944, one month before she was captured in Hungary, Anna wrote her last poem in Hebrew, “Blessed is the Match”. The lyrics are a perfect expression of the simplicity of the necessity to act, while aware that failure may result in her death.

[Prof. Uzi Shavit, “Anna Szenes, Her Life and Diary, The First Complete Edition, 1972 “, p. 59]

Anna's Diary and letters

Anna szenes

Conferences, Events, and Seminars

The Anna Szenes House complex in Kibbutz Sdot Yam, apart from being a museum, is also a cultural center and a fitting place for holding conferences, seminars, and a variety of social or family events. The place includes a large auditorium in which it is possible to hold lectures, and screen films and presentations with a sound amplification system, a huge screen, and approximately 100 seats. We also have a sprawling lawn with abundant plants that can accommodate up to 300 people, and a large stage for ceremonies and music and dance performances (which also includes a sound amplification system, lighting, and a large screen). The Caesarea Antiquity Museum complex contains an impressive garden, a lovely lawn, and ancient marble items, such as columns, sculptures, and Corinthian capitals.

Optional activities and events at our complex:
  • Conferences and seminars for teachers, tour guides, academics, and cultural organizations.

  • Meetings on the topic of poetry with poets and young artists.

  • Meetings and lectures for women as part of Women's Day.

  • Meetings on the subject of the environment with "Zalul" organization.

  • Storytelling events.

  • Public sing-along events (inside or outside).

  • ODT workshops, cupping glasses, and other workshops on various topics.

  • End-of-the-year events for schools.

  • On Holocaust Day - "Remembrance in the Living Room" (Anna Szenes House invites the narrator/moderator).

  • Events for companies and workers' committees.

  • Family events such as weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, birthdays (with quiet music, and up to 60 people).

In addition, we cooperate with Kef Yam, which organizes, among other things, beach events for companies and workers' organizations, allowing for a very wide range of possibilities.

Anna szenes

For Soldiers and the Security Forces

For Soldiers and the Security Forces

At Anna Szenes House, special importance is given to imparting to soldiers and members of the security forces Anna's story, the story of the paratroopers' delegation, and the values that arise from them.
The activities we offer:
  • Sunday culture for regular soldiers.

  • Visits of groups of soldiers as part of an arrangement with the Council for the Conservation of Heritage Sites and the Ministry of Defense.

  • Tours for police units and various security bodies.

  • Tours and activities for women serving in the security forces as part of Women's Day.

  • Social gatherings – rotation of commanders, company meetings, graduation of military courses, etc.

  • Tours for students of the pre-military preparatory schools.

Anna szenes house

Educational Activities

 At the Anna Szenes House, we place a central emphasis on passing down Anna’s story to future generations.

Anna was an inspirational figure, from whom many values can be drawn, such as perseverance, her ability to give, her volunteering spirit, her assertiveness, leadership, and more. In addition, Anna’s story and letters teach us not only about her private world, but also about the period in which she was active, a formative period in the history of the State of Israel, the Jewish people, and the world.

Anna Szenes House offers activities and tours designed for schools and various frameworks of the educational system.

Tours for schoolchildren

Tours at the Anna Szenes House are suitable for students from 6th to 12th grade. The tours include a film in the auditorium, a guided tour of the museum's exhibition (adapted to the age group), and discussion circles in which questions, topics, and values rise from Anna's story and character.

A view from the sculpture garden overlooking the sea and the "Walk to Caesarea" coastal route

It is also possible to combine a visit to the observation point from the sculpture garden overlooking the sea and the "Walk to Caesarea" coastal route, which follows the footsteps of Anna Szenes, the Palyam (the sea force of the Palmach), and the illegal immigration to Israel toward the end of the British Mandate period.
Other educational activities:
  • The Anna Szenes House is also a significant stop along the "Beacon of Revival" journey of high school students.

  • Activities for bat mitzvahs.

  • Tours for "Taglit" groups and youth from abroad.

  • ODT workshops.

  • Tours, conferences, and seminars for teaching staff (history, Land of Israel studies, literature, etc.).

  • Tours for youth movement members.

Anna szenes house

Tours for groups

Tours for groups at Anna Szenes House include a variety of options, from the standard tour of the Anna Szenes House, to an extended tour that includes a scenic view from the observation point, a walk on the beach, a visit to the Anna Szenes House, and a visit to the Caesarea Antiquity Museum. The tours are tailored to various types of groups: Senior citizens, schools, families, organizations, companies, and tourists from abroad.

It is also possible to personally adapt the tour to the visit you’re interested in and choose from the options offered:

A geographical view from the sculpture garden located on a cliff overlooking the sea

A geographical view from the sculpture garden located on a cliff overlooking the sea, which can also include an explanation of the kibbutz and the elements seen in the landscape, such as the Sdot-Yam pier, Herod's Palace, and the rock reefs. The sculpture garden is located about fifty meters from the parking lot and near the dining room. From the observation point, you can continue on foot to the Anna Szenes House, which is a walking distance of about two hundred meters.

The coastal route

"A Walk to Caesarea" follows Anna Szenes - this route starts at the observation point at the sculpture garden and continues down the path leading to the beach. From there, there's a leisurely walk along the beach (300 meters) up until the path leading to Anna Szenes House. The walk includes a brief explanation of the affiliation between marine nature and man, the story of the illegal immigration to Israel toward the end of the British Mandate period, and the story behind the song "A Walk to Caesarea", which was inspired by Anna's walks along that same beach.

Movie/ the light-and-sound show

that tells Anna's story, from her childhood in Budapest, her immigration to the Land of Israel, and to her tragic demise in the Hungarian prison. The film includes touching testimonies told by Anna's acquaintances, with authentic photographs, diary sections, and poems. The film concludes with a brief reenactment of Anna and her comrades parachuting into Slovenia, as performed by IDF soldiers in July 2021.

Exhibition tour

A guided (or independent) tour of a new exhibition that tells the story of Anna through a journey between her life's stations. The exhibition combines poems, quotes from her diary, photographs, original objects, and interactive representations. The exhibition also tells the story of the other paratroopers, among them the six paratroopers who never returned, to who we've dedicate a special commemorative corner.

A guided tour of the Caesarea Antiquity Museum

the Caesarea Antiquity Museum in Sdot Yam is an archaeological museum that contains exquisite finds discovered in Caesarea and the region, of all its many and varied periods. The tour includes three different themed exhibition rooms and a large courtyard with sculptures and architectural items, allowing a glimpse of the city's fascinating past and the daily life of its inhabitants. The museum is adjacent to the Anna Szenes House.