Hanna Reitsch Erased from History


As of March 8 Canadian organizers of an international celebration of women in aviation where standing by their decision to honor the late Hanna Reitsch, who was the first woman to fly a helicopter — and,an unrepentant NSDAP member, but after pressure by a Jewish group  there will be no mention of Hanna Reitsch after the mayor of Lachute announced Thursday his town wouldn’t allow the event to proceed if it glorified someone with a Nazi past.

As many as 800 women and girls are expected to gather at a municipal airfield in Lachute, 80 kilometres northwest of Montreal, on Saturday for the Women of Aviation Worldwide (WOAW) event — just one of many events taking place across four continents.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of Reitsch’s first helicopter flight, and as CBC first reported Wednesday, organizers planned to celebrate that accomplishment with videos of Reitsch in action and posters about her.

Hanna Reitsch greets crowds in Hirschberg, Germany. 1941.

Hanna Reitsch greets crowds in Hirschberg, Germany in 1941. (German Federal Archives/Schwahn)

Reitsch, who died in 1979, is remembered not only as a pioneering female pilot, but as a star of NSDAP propaganda.

“Notoriously, she is remembered for very close connections to Adolf Hitler,” said Jean Allman, a professor of history at Washington University in St. Louis, who has written about Reitsch.

Allman and other historians have described Reitsch as an “unrepentant” Nazi.

In an interview on CBC’s Daybreak, Lachute Mayor Carl Péloquin said when the (((town))) heard about the event, they contacted the promoter and made it very clear they wanted no part in it.

“We told them that we wouldn’t be accepting or tolerating any kind of events in relation with Nazism or any other kind of extremist movement,” he said.

Saturday’s event is to take place at a municipal airport on municipal land. Péloquin said the city received a letter from the organizers guaranteeing there won’t be any mention or tribute to anyone linked to the Nazis.

Marguerite Varin, the event organizer, wouldn’t comment on what discussions took place between herself and the city.

She said simply that anyone who had questions about it were invited to attend and find out for themselves.

Informed by the CBC(Canadian Public Radio) earlier this week about the planned celebration of Reitsch’s role in aviation history, the national director of the (((League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith))) Canada, Amanda Hohmann, called it “very troubling.”

B’nai Brith’s national legal counsel, Steven Slimovitch, said Thursday honouring Reitsch shows “a complete misunderstanding on how the fight against racism needs to be approached.” So they make no bones about it, they bully and scream Racist in order to suppress history, therefore proving Orwell’s prophetic quote ”

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

Here at ANS we have devoted our lives to keeping the truth alive even if it is but a whisper for the next thousand years, so here it  is , the amazing story of Hanna Reitsch

She was the first female stunt pilot and test pilot in aviation history. Born into a middle class German family in an area now part of Poland, her father was an ophthalmologist and her mother a homemaker with a simple belief in God. Hanna’s early goals were to be a flying doctor, but her passion for flying soon overtook her desire for a career in medicine and she left medical school to become a full time glider pilot.


Because of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles, Germany was not allowed to build powered aircraft, so Hanna learned to fly gliders. In the 1920s, she went on to become an instructor in glider pilot school, but quickly distinguished herself as a pilot and got jobs in German government films as a stunt pilot. Because she was the first female helicopter pilot and first human to ever fly a helicopter indoors, this attracted the attention of the Third Reich and the Luftwaffe. In 1940, the British Balloon Barrage had taken a number of fatalities on German pilots; the barrage balloon was deadly in that it could be flown at heights of 10,000 feet and the cable on which it was attached was very hard to spot when flying. The barrage balloon was a brilliantly simple idea and it was thought that there might be a way to use a simple technology to cut through the cables. Hitler was invited to see the testing of this new device. During the testing of devices to shear the cables, a snapped cable tore through the ends of her propeller and yanked the engine from her aircraft. Reitsch skillfully landed the crippled plane and in 1941 she was awarded the Iron Cross, First Class by Hitler for her bravery and skill. She was the first woman and ONLY woman to ever be awarded the Iron Cross during World War II, and the Luftwaffe diamond clasp, becoming a heroine of the Third Reich.


Because of her fame, she was able to develop a close relationship with Hitler. During the war the Luftwaffe employed Reitsch to test a variety of planes, gliders, and flying bombs.  Reitsch was fiercely patriotic and an ardent supporter of Hitler, and believed in Hitler’s grandiose plans for the Third Reich. In the last days of the war, Reitsch was asked to fly her lover, General Robert Ritter von Greim, into Russian Army surrounded Berlin to meet with Hitler, and to try to persuade Hitler to fly with her to German controlled territory to carry on the war. Hitler refused to leave Berlin. So when she expressed her desire to die with Hitler in his Bunker, Hitler refused her request and ordered her to fly out of Berlin.


The city of Berlin was already surrounded by Russian troops who had made progress into the downtown area where Reitsch had boldly landed her plane three days earlier. Reitsch escaped Berlin by taking off through heavy Russian anti-aircraft fire, flying the last plane out of Berlin before it fell to the Russians. Her eyewitness account of the last days of Hitler is an important part of history. Held for interrogation for 18 months by the American military after the war, she was eventually released.  “When I was released by the Americans I read historian Trevor Roper’s book, ‘The Last Days of Hitler’. Throughout the book like a red line, runs an eyewitness report by Hanna Reitsch about the final days in the bunker. I never said it. I never wrote it. I never signed it. It was something they invented. Hitler died with total dignity.”


After the war she was doggedly unrepentant about her support for Hitler and the NSDAP. She wore her Iron Crosses proudly and wrote a somewhat defensive and self-serving memoir, “Fliegen, mein Leben” (1951), which was translated in 1954 as “Flying is My Life.” In this book she presents herself as a patriot, and makes no moral judgments about Hitler and Germany. ” Hanna Reitsch was interviewed and photographed several times in the early 1970s in Germany by US investigative photojournalist Ron Laytner. At the end of her last interview she told Laytner: “And what have we now in Germany? A land of bankers and carmakers. Even our great army has gone soft. Soldiers wear beards and question orders. I am not ashamed to say I believed in National Socialism. I still wear the Iron Cross with diamonds that Hitler gave me. But today in all Germany you can’t find a single person who voted Adolf Hitler into power.” Then she uttered the words that many feel kept her out of the history books: “Many Germans feel guilty about the war. But they don’t explain the real guilt we share – that we lost.” She spent her remaining post war years as an outcast. She spent her last years quietly in Ghana as an instructor in a flying school that she helped establish. Two years before she died, at 65 years of age she set a new women’s distance record in a glider. Hanna Reitsch died quietly in bed of a massive heart attack at age 67 in Frankfurt, Germany one year after setting a new women’s distance record in a glider.


Published in: on March 20, 2017 at 12:05 am  Comments (4)