70 min

In development

How I Became a Hijacker

Jak zostałam porywaczką

Directing: Andrew Carter


Ingrid was an ordinary 32-year-old waitress. In December 1976, at Café Moskau, she met Horst Fischer, an engineer from ‘free’ West Berlin. A fleeting acquittance quickly turned into a romance. The lovers began to plan for Ingrid and her daughter’s escape to the west.

Some plans were considered and then rejected as too dangerous – particularly with the child. Ingrid was afraid that, if caught, she’d be separated from her daughter for years. They hatched a simple plan. All would go to Poland and board a ferry heading to West Germany. Ingrid would be accompanied by a friend, Detlef, for safety. Horst was to organise false papers, and travel to Poland separately.

Unaware of the constant surveillance, Horst was arrested by Stasi on the border. When her lover didn’t show up at the agreed place and time in Poland, Ingrid figured that something had gone wrong. Out of utter desperation and in fear of being caught, they decided the only possible way out for them was to hijack a plane.

After selling their personal belongings, they got enough money to buy a toy pistol and checked in for Flight 165 heading to East Berlin. Just before landing, Detlef ordered a stewardess at gunpoint to take him into the cockpit, and ordered the crew to take the plane to West Berlin. They landed at Tempelhof Airport, in the free American sector of Berlin.
Ingrid and Detlef were welcomed by the Americans. But soon they realised that the U.S. did not know what to do with them. They were refugees; but also hijackers. The international anti-hijacking treaty signed a few weeks earlier made it more complicated. The Soviets wanted them punished to the fullest extent, or extradited back to East Germany.

Ingrid and Detlef, caught in the middle of the Cold War, were charged in the special Court for Berlin set up by the Americans. They went on trial in a politically-charged fight for justice, with a legendary American judge presiding. It was the beginning of sensational courtroom drama.
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.