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Rachel Deblinger, Author
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"Hannah": Brochure

Hadassah created a series of brochures to publicize their Youth Aliyah program titled "Ask the Children." “Ask…Hannah” was a 1946 version of this pamphlet and celebrated Hannah as the 20,000th child brought to Israel by Youth Aliyah.

Survival in Europe
Hannah managed to survive a mass shooting that killed her family, and she recounted, “I was covered with dead people. When they [the shooters] left I realized I was still living. I crawled over my daddy’s body. I didn’t even kiss him. I went up the sides and ran away.” The brochure then details Hannah's continued survival as she was discovered by an officer who took her into the woods, but let her escape. Eventually Hannah was taken in by a Czech family until the war ended and then she joined a group of young people going to Palestine. In Palestine, Hannah is taken care of by Hadassah and is told that Youth Aliyah will “be brother and sister, mother and father to you.”

Fundraising effort in America
The brochure was explicitly designed to raise funds for Youth Aliyah. Addressing Hannah, the brochure ends, "we give your story to the great American public, certain that many will want to make $360 a year available to Hadassah to help regenerate and strengthen you, and the tens of thousands of others like you who still await salvation.”

Who is Hannah?
The brochure featured two images of Hannah - one suggesting her at a low point of health and the other depicting a young girl full of vitality. It is this second young girl who looks forward and tells the story of survival and hope that best depicts the Youth Aliyah program. Yet, there is no way to know who this Hannah is or if the images correspond to the person who lived that experience. Additionally, evidence suggests that Hannah was not the 20,000th child brought to Israel by Youth Aliyah, but that her story was used to represent the 20,000 young people who had been supported by Hadassah women in the U.S.
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