This book reveals for the first time dozens of personal letters written by Anna Szenes (1944-1921), mostly to her mother and brother, starting at the age of fourteen and very close to her death. The letters see light for the first time in Hebrew, 70 years after her execution.
Anna Szenes immigrated to Israel when she was eighteen, in 1939, shortly after the outbreak of World War II. Immigrating alone involved a heavy personal cost – saying goodbye to her mother Katarina, who remained in Hungary, and her only brother George (Giora), who went to study in France. Those letters were her only way of maintaining contact with them and with other acquaintances, who did not follow her patriotic decision. Through them, she shared with her family and acquaintances her first impressions of the country, her efforts to adjust and adapt and train herself to become a farmer, her daily life, as well as her spiritual and emotional world. The letters concluding the book were the last signs of life she sent on the eve of her departure for a mission from which she never returned.
Apart from those letters, the book’s editor, Anna Szalai, added dozens of letters that Anna Szenes received, from her diary and other testimonies, which turn the fascinating monologue in her letters into a rich dialogue, and sheds light on the life and world of Hungarian Judaism during those years. There are also dozens of photographs taken by Anna Szenes, chosen from the family collection, with the assistance of her nephew Eitan Szenes. The photographs, like the letters themselves, allow us to get reacquainted with the girl and the young woman who became a myth.
Anna Szenes house
Sunday – Thursday, from 10:00 to 16:00
Fridays from 9:00 to 13:00
The museum is closed on Saturday and holidays
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.
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 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: