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Yad Vashem "To Build and To Be Built". The Contribution of Holocaust Survivors to the State of Israel

Hanna Bar Yesha (Rosner)

Hanna Bar Yesha at Mikve Israel College, 1946
Hanna with her husband Chaim and their two daughters, 1958
Hanna Bar Yesha with students in Merkaz Shapira, 1985
Hanna Bar Yesha’s extended family, 2008
“I had just turned thirteen. At that moment I decided to come to Israel, because I wanted to belong to someone, but also to belong to my nation.”

Hanna Bar Yesha (Rosner) is an educator and former secondary school principal.

Hanna Bar Yesha (Rosner) was born in 1932, in Uzhorod, Czechoslovakia. In 1944, Hanna Bar Yesha’s entire family, consisting of 70 members, was deported in one train compartment from Hungary to Auschwitz. Hanna was taken to Birkenau, to the so-called C-Camp, the camp of Hungarian women, and in November that year she was transferred to the Hainichen camp in Germany. In the spring of 1945, she was sent on the death march to Theresienstadt.

After the war, she decided not to join her aunt who emigrated to the United States, but preferred to go to Eretz Yisrael. She arrived in 1946, traveling via Trieste, Milano, Santa Maria and Bari. On boarding the ship, all passengers were requested to throw their luggage overboard. Hanna was compelled to part from her only possession- an embroidered towel, a memento from her mother. In Eretz Yisrael she studied at Mikve Israel College and was mobilized to become a member of Gadna (the Youth Corps). Based in Kibbutz Be’erot Yitzchak, she participated in the War of Independence. After the war, she was instrumental in co-founding Kibbutz Massuot Yitzchak. In 1957, she and her husband moved to Even Shmuel, in the Lachish region, and from there to Merkaz Shapira. Between 1977 and 1990, Hanna Bar Yesha worked as the principal of the local secondary school. Since 1991, she has continued to be involved in educational activities and helps in the absorption of youngsters from Ethiopia. She also accompanies youngsters to Poland. An educational documentary about Hanna Bar Yesha’s life was recently produced by Yad Vashem’s International School for Holocaust Studies and the Center for Multimedia Assisted Instruction at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Hanna Bar Yesha was married to Chaim (of blessed memory) and has two daughters, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.