In 1945, showing great foresight, then General Dwight Eisenhower made an effort to stop any possible attempts to deny that the Holocaust ever happened. With the allies’ victory over Nazi Germany, he visited one of the concentration camps near Gotha, Germany, and was shocked and horrified at what he saw. Though some of the sights made him physically ill, he inspected every part of the camps. He felt that it was his duty to see it all and be able to testify to the truth of the Nazi unfathomable brutality.
In order to document these horrors and make sure that cynics and doubters would not brush off the evidence as mere Nazi propaganda, he ordered as many as possible photographs to be taken and for the German people from villages surrounding the concentration camps to be ushered through the camps to see what they were apathetic to while they lived nearby. He also contacted both London and Washington and urged both governments to send a random group of newspaper editors and legislative groups to the camps to document them.
Moving forward three years, in 1948, the one day old nascent state of Israel found herself having to defend herself against the armies of five Arab states that converged on her. The Jews in the land were small in number and their odds of winning that war and maintain their reborn homeland were close to naught.
But some others thought differently.
Those were the volunteer pilots, one third of them non-Jews, who arrived in Israel from all parts of the world, and flew whatever the Jewish state could find and afford to purchase, that could fly. With their almost miraculous heroism, these pilots took on the Arab armies from the air and helped defeat them and thus preserved the homeland the Jews so badly needed.
The stories of those pilots, most are none other than miraculous life adventures, have almost been forgotten. Most of those heroes have left the world of the living and the handful who are still alive are in their nineties. One is Major Mitch Flint.
In the Los Angles Obituaries section, July 23rd, 2015, upon the passing of one other of these volunteer pilots, it has been quoted:
“Intrigued by the stories of their groundbreaking work in Israel, famous playwright David Mamet linked the volunteer pilots to the giants of American history. Meeting with the guys, like Mitch Flint and Al Schwimer, it’s like sitting down with Abraham Lincoln or George Washington,” he said in a 2012 interview with the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz. “When the pioneers did what they did, it was basically impossible.”
I mention General Dwight Eisenhower documenting the Holocaust in connection to the story of these volunteers for Israel pilots because of the in-the-making film project “Angels In The Sky” (AITS), that is telling the story of these brave and unselfish pilots who came to help the people of Israel in their dire times. The film, in its early stages of production, will bring to life this part of history that is almost forgotten and will give that war and the birth of the world-renowned Israeli air force a new life. It is a humane story of heroism and camaraderie, possibly a 21st century “Cast a Giant Shadow” type of movie.
For more information about AITS, contact Producer and Managing Partner Mike Flint, Machal Productions, LLC @ www.angelsintheskythemovie.com.