Escape and Evasion in the Fatherland

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by airminded88, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. airminded88

    airminded88 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Texas, United States
    #1 airminded88, Apr 23, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2013
    I believe we all have read gripping dramatic accounts of both American and British downed airmen making their way out of Nazi-occupied countries like France, The Netherlands, Belgium and the Balkans with the help of brave underground resistance fighters; but I have yet to find the account of a downed Allied airmen shot down inside Nazi Germany that did not get captured immediately and managed to get out of the country by his own means or the help of someone else.

    Does such an account exists?
     
  2. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    6,688
    Likes Received:
    252
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Occupation:
    plumbing "pro" at Lowes in Franklin N.C.
    Location:
    north carolina
    Now that is a darned good question. I have read many accounts as you have, but that never occured to me. I think it falls under the "no" catagory, I think that because of the regime, everyone was a true believer. Until the Allies got there, then everyone was against the Nazis. It was really hard to find any then.
     
  3. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,484
    Likes Received:
    110
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    Hiding a enemy was a capital offense during the 3rd Reich, and official method of execution for civilians was the fallbeil ( guillotine). Used from 1933-45, anywhere from 16,000 to 20,000 people were beheaded by the 20 guillotines in Germany and Austria.
    That would tend to keep anyone not agreeing very quite.
     
  4. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    Yes, the Nazis weren't very nice to each other. They had a system of 'show' trials held under the guise of the People's Court in Berlin, where those pronounced guilty, invariably every political prisoner was sent to Plotzensee Prison and executed, nominally by guillotine, but also by other more gruesome methods. A section of Plotzensee is open to the public as a memorial to victims of the People's Court, including the execution chambers, where victims were also hung using piano wire from hooks in the rafters. The guillotine has since long gone, but the hooks are still there.
     
  5. Junglerot

    Junglerot New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    It wasn't just fear of the Gestapo, there was hate for the terror flieger. Thousands of German civilians were killed by allied bombers. An allied flyer shot down over the Reich could expect to be abused or killed by the locals rather aided in escape.
     
  6. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,771
    Likes Received:
    687
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    Just because one was a German, did not make them a Nazi...
     
  7. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2012
    Messages:
    706
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dude, that is utter BS. More than seventy thousand Germans were executed for resistance activities. By some estimate Germany had the greatest number of citizens engaged in anti Nazi activities of any European country. Yes, the majority of Germans were Nazi, or at least Nazi sympathizers, but to label all Germans as 'true believers' does an appalling disservice to those who had the courage to stand up and say no, and who paid the price.
     
  8. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,771
    Likes Received:
    687
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    Sorry my friend but that is not true. Of course you had many believers, but not everyone was. It was very unhealthy to say anything against the regime. Fear is a strong controlling factor.
     
  9. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2011
    Messages:
    1,048
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
  10. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,771
    Likes Received:
    687
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    At the moment, I don't see this a political discussion.

    How about you leave the moderating to the moderators. Sound like a good idea?
     
  11. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,484
    Likes Received:
    110
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    Marianne Kutchner was beheaded shortly after her trail in June, 43, for telling a joke about Hitler.

    The fact that she had just lost her husband in the Werhmacht some months before wasn't considered a mitigating factor by Roland Freisler, he sentenced her to death.

    These executions were carried out behind closed doors, but not in secret. Every execution was followed by a public notice .

    Beheading for telling a joke is more extreme than usual for even the Nazis, but it shows there was no limits to their power to punish any resistance.
     
  12. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    Now, now, Adler, you KNOW I know that wasn't so.

    Although it's not quite the same, two of those who successfully escaped from Oflag-IVC (Colditz) were RAF airmen; actual numbers vary, but sources state 30 or more escaped from the castle.
     
  13. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    561
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Executive, Consulting
    Location:
    Scurry, Texas
    Yes - 357FS/355FG Captain Roland Dufresne was shot down near Koln on 11 Feb 1944. He walked to Belgium and then France before hooking up with Underground. Smuggled to a point south of Calais and picked up british. He returned to Steeple Morden in September and was re-instated to combat ops because the part of the Underground he was involved in was over-run by Allies.
     
  14. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    6,688
    Likes Received:
    252
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Occupation:
    plumbing "pro" at Lowes in Franklin N.C.
    Location:
    north carolina
    You are correct, of course.
    I am guilty of over simplifying. Chalk it up to late hours and a couple of beers.
     
  15. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    2,484
    Likes Received:
    110
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    auto body repair
    Location:
    pound va
    Just because a German might be anti-Nazi doesn't mean they're going assist the enemy.
     
  16. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    5,906
    Likes Received:
    853
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer, Aircraft Restoration
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, California, U.S.A.
    #16 GregP, Apr 24, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
    One of my friends, an instructor who hired me at an electronics school, was married to a German lady who wound up the war as a 16-year old aircraft spotter for the Luftwaffe. We talked about it on several occasions. She said that by 1943, almost every German knew they had made a big mistake putting Hitler in power, but the first thing he did was to disarm the population and give ALL the guns to the Military. There was no means by which the people could resist in any numbers because they were unarmed and were not allowed to congregate in other than small groups. If you were caught in a big group, it was prison or death and charging a machine gun or a squad of soldiers with loaded guns of any sort with 20 pitchforks didn’t work out very well the first few times it was tried, so they stopped trying.

    She said she and the family joined the Nazi party because if you didn’t join, your family didn’t get any food allotment and you’d die of starvation. She was conscripted and made an aircraft spotter in a tower and that’s how she ended the war.

    She said when she was captured, they rounded up the young girls and transported them to England where they were interred. Naturally, the British soldiers didn’t want them to be dirty, so they made them take showers 3 – 4 times a day while the soldiers “guarded” them. After 3 – 4 weeks, they got their fill of watching the young German girls shower and sent them all home. She said that while the girls got tired of the supervised showers, they certainly ate better in British custody than they had in wartime Germany. As a side benefit, she learned a bit of English while in custody. She met her husband at the train station coming home. She had only ragged clothes and he gave her one of his fatigue uniforms to wear because her clothes were falling apart and they started talking with her broken English and his broken German. It became romance and they married in 1946 and were still living happily in Phoenix, Arizona in 2002.

    She said the people outside the death camps knew there were terrible things going on, but had no means whatsoever to do anything about it. If you had no business at the camp, then even being caught near it was a camp sentence. If the guard who caught you was merciful, and if you were female, he might let you go if you agreed to sleep with him going forward, so the women avoided grouping, any concentrations of German soldiers, and any military places to the maximum extent. Sometimes they would hire local girls to cook, clean, or whatever and, if they had a job there, then they were left alone to do the work and departed when the shift was over unmolested.
     
  17. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,811
    Likes Received:
    181
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
  18. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    41,771
    Likes Received:
    687
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A&P - Aircraft Technician
    Location:
    USA/Germany
    That is true as well...
     
  19. Conslaw

    Conslaw Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Lawyer
    Location:
    Indianapolis, Indiana USA
    Chuck Yeager escaped and evaded after being shot down over occupied France.
     
  20. CobberKane

    CobberKane Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2012
    Messages:
    706
    Likes Received:
    34
    Trophy Points:
    0
    So did lots of airmen.
    I can see how it would have been far more difficult to escape from Germany. To escape from any occupied country without assistance from the local would have been virtually impossible, and while it is true that Germans were by no means all Nazis, it is also true that the those who sympathised with the regime either from politics or misplaced patriotism would have constituted a majority. It would have been impossible to organise a resistance of the type that existed in occupied France, where antipathy towards the ruling elite was the norm rather than the exception. A downed allied airman would be on his own in a hostile environment much like a downed German airman over England, thendifficultiesmofngetting across the channel notwithstanding.
     
Loading...

Share This Page