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Hitler's Heroes: Hanna Reitsch (Ghana / Nkrumah - Founder, Ghana's National School Of Gliding)

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Uploaded on Sep 16, 2011

This clip is an excerpt from the program "Hitler's Heroes: Hanna Reitsch", the female test pilot from the Third Reich who was later invited by Kwame Nkrumah to Ghana to become founder of Ghana's National School Of Gliding.

I have posted the part of the program that refers to her post-war exploits. Only a few minutes is devoted to Ghana, but it does contain some excellent clips of Nkrumah & post-independence Ghana, including some excellent images of a parade at Independence Square.

Hanna Reitsch was the pilot who flew into encircled Berlin to bring the newly promoted head of the Luftwaffe to meet with Hitler in his bunker, just four days before Hitler committed suicide.


After the war, she found herself unwelcome in Europe, and took up an invitation by Nkrumah to found the national gliding school. The pragmatic Nkrumah recognized her brilliance as a pilot, in spite of her links to Nazi Germany, and she lived in Ghana from 1962-1966.

In 1968, Reitsch wrote a book about her experiences in Ghana called "This clip is an excerpt from the program "Hitler's Heroes: Hanna Reitsch", the female test pilot from the Third Reich who was later invited by Kwame Nkrumah to Ghana to become founder of Ghana's National School Of Gliding.

Hanna Reitsch was the pilot who flew into encircled Berlin to bring the newly promoted head of the Luftwaffe to meet with Hitler in his bunker, just four days before Hitler committed suicide.


After the war, she found herself unwelcome in Europe, and took up an invitation by Nkrumah to found the national gliding school. The pragmatic Nkrumah recognized her brilliance as a pilot, in spite of her links to Nazi Germany, and she lived in Ghana from 1962-1966.

In 1968, Reitsch wrote a book about her Ghana experiences called "Ich Flog Für Kwame Nkrumah" (I Flew For Kwame Nkrumah).


The program tends to draw parallels between Hitler & Nkrumah as dictators, and the commentators are rather negative in their accounts of Reitsch's association with the Nkrumah regime. The program implies that Reitsch had an uncanny knack of gravitating towards dictators, as like Hitler, Nkrumah is regarded as being a dictator in the same vein.

I don't think this is a fair assessment - despite any failings that Nkrumah had, he is a long way from being comparable to Hitler (indeed, their only real comparable points are that the both reverted from democracy to leaders of a one-party state, and their opponents had an uncanny knack of winding up dead for whatever reason - politically they are complete opposites).

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