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Free for All to Freedom is the memoir by Frank Iszak, one of the leaders of the first hijacking of a commercial airliner.
It was first published in 2012 and served as the basis for the script of Freedom Flight.
Free for All to Freedom is available at

Late afternoon on Friday, July 13, 1956 a twin engine DC-3 from the People’s Republic of Hungary made an unscheduled landing, some 250 miles off its original course, at a NATO air force base still under construction. For those who lived behind the Iron Curtain, these were some of the darkest days of history, with no way to escape and no hope for the future. But on this day, seven Hungarian youngsters would risk everything in order to taste something that others took for granted: freedom. They would hijack a commercial airliner and fly to freedom. Free for All to Freedom is their story.
“HOW DID IT HAPPEN? Who was responsible for this firestorm? Who started it? The more I’d been thinking – and I had a lot of time for that – the clearer the answer became: It was me. ME! It would have been easy to say, “I did not see it coming”, but I should have. It was my country. It was my decision – or the lack thereof – to let the barbarians rise to power. The prisons were built; first for the minds and then for the bodies. The insidious disease, Communism, was marching and I was marching along. I believed in the false promises and ignored history. Tyranny does not start with the gulags and gas chambers, it ends with them. I remained silent and hoped that this time it was going to be different. I did not yell “FIRE!” when I should have. Now it was too late; the fire was raging, the fire hydrants were dry, and all the firemen were dead.”

- Excerpt from Free for All to Freedom by Frank Iszak

After arriving to the West, Frank Iszak was condemned to death in absentia by a military tribunal in Hungary. He immigrated to the United States, where he became a citizen in 1963. He worked as a chemist, a publisher, a public speaker and a martial arts instructor. Currently he teaches yoga in his studio in Rancho Santa Fe, California, with his wife, Serpil.

On the Tarmac

Frank Iszak’s account of the last five minutes of his life.

To play the audio, please click the player