By Dr. Angelika Machinek - German Section
In the 1930s Elly Beinhorn was acclaimed for the solo-flights across every continent. While flying in the States, she heard of, and later got to know personally, her famous colleague Amelia Earhart. Elly was drawn by her intelligence and natural charm: "One doesn't have to be a man to be fascinates by this woman," she said then, and even now at the age of 91, speaks of her with great passion.
In 1937, Elly was once again in the United States. This time however, not piloting her own plane, but accompanying her husband, the famous racing driver, Bernd Rosemeyer. He was taking part in of the great American race at the Roosevelt racetrack in New York. He was a Formula 1 World Champion and won the race. Celebrations for this victory were tempered with the disappearance of Amelia in her attempt to circumnavigate the world.
Germany, meanwhile, was firmly in the hands of the Nazi regime, both Elly Beinhorn and Bernd Rosemeyer were critical of the Nazis, and feared for Gemany's future. They therefore deposited part of the prize money in an American account in case they were forced to leave Germany and start a new life in the free world. Six months later Bernd Rosemeyer had a fatal accident in his racing car.
Elly Beinhorn took up flying again after the second world war and worked as a journalist and flying reporter in her Piper Cub throughout Europe. In 1959 she accepted an invitation to take part in the Powder Puff Derby in the States. It was there, she learned from The Ninety-Nines, that they wanted to produce an Amelia Earhart stamp. But the production had been held up due to insufficient funding. Elly remembered the money that she and Bernd had deposited in an American bank more than twenty years before. She tracked down the bank and found that the amount had accumulated enough interest to make a fairly large sum. She was only to be happy to contribute this towards the founding of the stamp in memory of the much loved and respected woman pilot, Amelia Earhart.