How did allied and German civilians react to downed aircrew?

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,950
Australia
I don't know the details, but someone who was shot down late in the war told my parents about being concerned about being lynched by a hostile crowd at a railway station. This was due to the bombing killing many civilians and destroying houses and so on.
I think this is the key. If the civilians had friends or family who were killed in the war then the reception is likely to be more hostile.
 

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,063
Navan, Ireland

Polish crew had problem if shot down within the UK with the average Brit understanding Polish as well as he'd understand Geramn. One crew man in the BoB was almost lynched by and angry mob. when the RAF came to get him he was in a 'bad state'-- no not hurt initially it was 'bad' for him but then the mob saw his shoulder flashes of Poland they changed and everyone wanted to buy the Polish hero a pint-- pissed as a lord when they found him.
 

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,063
Navan, Ireland
I think this is the key. If the civilians had friends or family who were killed in the war then the reception is likely to be more hostile.
One RAF man accouted that when being moved from one pow camp to another while waiting at a train station out of nowhere an German soldier came and smashed him to the ground with a blow from his riffle-- luckily theren were enough prisoners and guard around to stop him being beaten to death.

Afterwards the Guards apologised and explained the soldier had just been told that his wife and children had been killed in a bombing raid.
 

Tercios Espanoles

Ad Honorem
Mar 2014
6,679
Beneath a cold sun, a grey sun, a Heretic sun...
It seems to have been pretty much a luck of the draw for an allied airman coming down inside Germany. I have read accounts of airmen receiving a quite friendly reception by civilians, even while the raid was still in progress, and other accounts of air crew being rescued from a severe beating or worse by the intervention of police or military officials. One particularly sad account was from a night fighter pilot who went to inspect one of his kills after landing. The surviving crew of the aircraft he brought down had all been lynched by the locals.
 

Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
4,524
Japan
Afaik there are several hundred RAF and American aircrews who were murdered by civilians or civilian authorities in Germany.

There are no documented cases of German aircrew being murdered over Britain. There are a handful examples of beatings but they all end in the victims being handed over to police or military forces alive.