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First-Known Hijacker Gives Personal Account Of His ‘Freedom Flight’

"Freedom Flight: A True Account of the Cold War's Greatest Escape," by Frank Iszak, describes the escape of Iszak, his wife, and five co-conspirators as they executed the first known commercial airline hijacking.

First Known Hijacker Gives Personal Account Of His ‘Freedom Flight’

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Frank Iszak, author, "Freedom Flight"

Transcript

Frank Iszak, author of "Freedom Flight: A True Account of the Cold War’s Greatest Escape," is pictured in this undated photo.

Rarely are hijackers referred to as heroes, but that is the case with the first documented hijacking in history.

In the new book, “Freedom Flight,” Hungarian-born Frank Iszak recounts the tale of his escape from the Iron Curtain by hijacking a commercial airplane with his wife and five co-conspirators in 1956.

Their journey has been hailed as one of the greatest escapes in history, and the hijackers lauded as “The Seven Heroes of the Cold War” in news stories from that time.

Their successful escape from Hungary to West Germany is thought to be one of the main motivators for the Hungarian Uprising, which occurred four months later.

“The purpose of the story is to bring the tragic story of nameless and faceless millions of an oppressed era to the mind of the American public that considers freedom a birthright...to serve as testimony that freedom is not free,” Iszak writes in his book.

The historical and action-packed novel is currently in the works to be made into a movie.

Iszak, a yoga instructor in Rancho Santa Fe, shares his personal story Thursday on KPBS Midday Edition.

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