|The Hannah Project is a
501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to locating, preserving, and providing access
to the stories and voices of those courageous women who struggled in resistance to the
Holocaust during World War II.
organization draws its name from Hannah Senesh ("Hannah Senesz"), a Hungarian
Jew who immigrated to Palestine in 1939 and later volunteered for a daring commando
mission to rescue Jews swept up by the Nazis "Final Solution" in her
native land. Captured, tortured, and executed at the age of 23, she left behind a diary of
her youth and a handful of poems and letters, which have inspired generations of readers,
young and old.
Voices of Silence
Prior to and during World War II, thousands of women
of all ages, classes, religions, and ethnic origins demonstrated extraordinary
courage and commitment to humankind by their resistance to the Third Reich and its goal of
genocide. Their stories are ones of extraordinary courage. In Auschwitz, women worked
daily filling explosive devices for the German Army. After 8 months of smuggling out a
teaspoon a day of gunpowder, sometimes in their cheeks, they used it in a bomb that blew
up one of the death camps crematoriums. Sophie Scholl, along with her brother Hans,
spoke out against Nazi persecution and was beheaded for organizing the anti-Nazi
activities of the German resistance group The White Rose. Hannah Senesh, young poet from
Palestine, left the relative safety of her kibbutz and was captured and executed in
occupied Hungary while trying to warn its Jews of the totality of Hitlers
The stories of each of these women, to one degree or another,
have been told over the years. Yet, for every Hannah Senesh or Sophie Scholl, there are
countless others which have not been heard, voices which time and distance have all but
silenced. They are silenced not by a deliberate act, but rather by the simple absence of
any comprehensive effort to identify and preserve them. What archives have been
established are for the most part found scattered among dozens of museums and libraries
around the world, locations which must be physically visited to actually sample even the
limited range of their collections.
The goal of The Hannah Project is to employ the finest
information management and display technology available, including the Internet, to
identify, preserve, and make available to anyone in the world in many cases for the
first time the incredible, untold stories of these remarkable women.
The charter objectives of the Hannah Project
||An interactive web site
virtual library and museum to serve as an education resource for teachers, students
of all ages, academics and historians researching women's roles in Holocaust resistance.
||An information collection
procedure to archive documents, photographs, film and audio clips in a manner that will
make these materials accessible to all researchers.
Hannahs letters, diary and poetry are the soul of The
Hannah Project. Her words reveal a gifted young woman of tremendous character, who, in
another time, might have carried a nation on her shoulders. Instead she carried the
conscience of her generation.
The 18th century Russian warrior Nadezhda Durova wrote of her
fellow women warriors: "The preservation of their struggles through the act of
writing serves as a final and immutable act of resistance." The Hannah Project was
created to uphold this final act.
Theirs are the acts that suffused and survived. Theirs are
the words that are unheard by all but those who keep their stories in boxes in the attic,
in the backs of drawers, in plastic sleeves in family archives, in a photo frame on the
mantel. Theirs are the voices of the unremembered, thousands of womens stories of
resistance and courage that will soon be lost.
The Web Site
The Hannah Project is a repository for these histories,
photographs, journals, letters, recorded interviews and any other forms of remembrance of
womens resistance activities. A massive, digitized library makes these materials
available to anyone, anywhere, seeking the history of family members, conducting academic
research, building a web site project, developing classroom curricula or a personal
library. A detailed collection of annotated web links and references catalogues other
sources of information on womens resistance. A revolving series of exhibits, The
Gallery, showcases the words and works of women in a museum quality format. An ongoing
collection procedure allows anyone to contribute to these electronic archives, providing a
safe, permanent resting-place for priceless remembrances that would otherwise be lost or
damaged with age.