“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.”
— Hannah Szenes
Hannah Szenes (1921 – 1944) was born in Hungary in 1922, emigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine (now Israel) in 1939, and was one of 37 Jews that were parachuted but the British army into Yugoslavia in 1944 on a mission to rescue Hungarian Jews that were destined for Auschwitz. They were arrested at the Hungarian border and her British transmitter was discovered. On November 7, 1944 she was executed by the German army for treason.
She was also a poet and playwright. When I had initially looked up the authorship of this particular quote, I found the breadth of her accomplishments to be truly amazing given her very short life. I can easily see how, for some, she herself has become one of those lights.
The painting is Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, painted in 1889.