Undeterred by prison walls, an autumn chill swept into Hannah's dank, tiny cell. Like a starving dog that leaps upon its wounded prey, the cold air swirled around the young Jewish woman as she paced back and forth in solitary confinement. Desperate thoughts raced through her head, which she scribbled on her cell wall.
"One-two-three...eight feet long
Two strides across, the rest is dark
Life hangs over me like a question mark."
Hannah collapsed on the bare floor and caressed the wounds on the soles of her feet and on her head. Thus far, she had resisted her Nazi interrogators by remembering her parting words to her comrades-in-arms, those six brave Jews who left Eretz Yisrael with her and parachuted behind enemy lines to rescue Hungarian Jews from being deported to death camps: "We are the only ones who can possibly help, we don't have the right to think our own safety; we don't have the right to hesitate..."
Hannah closed her eyes, ignoring the tremors that wracked her body. Nothing could break her iron will or dim her hope. Methodically, she stacked furniture on her cot until the makeshift ladder reached her tiny window. On the dusty pane, she traced a Star of David.
From her prison window, Hannah Senesh communicated daily with other prisoners, including her mother. She used hand gestures and paper letters to describe life in Eretz Yisrael. Though she could no longer save them, she brought hope to her fellow prisoners until she was executed on November 7, 1944. A year later, an Aliyah Bet ship, the S.S. Hannah Senesh, ran the British blockade of Palestine with 250 Jews aboard.