Rommel

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paul.mercer
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Rommel

Postby paul.mercer » Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:00 pm

Gentlemen,
Yet another question for you! After the war a number of senior German military were tried at Nuremberg including Keitel and Manstein, if Rommel had survived the war would he also have been put on trial?

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Re: Rommel

Postby Steve Crandell » Thu Oct 30, 2014 6:21 am

paul.mercer wrote:Gentlemen,
Yet another question for you! After the war a number of senior German military were tried at Nuremberg including Keitel and Manstein, if Rommel had survived the war would he also have been put on trial?


As far as I know he wasn't implicated in any war crimes.

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Re: Rommel

Postby James_S » Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:48 am

He wouldn't have. It's like Mr. Crandell says, Rommel wasn't involved in any war crimes. All the sources depict him as a an honorable and brave men who had respect of both his troops and his enemies. He was also known for a humane treatment of prisoners and ignoring orders to kill e.g. enemy soldiers of Jewish origins.

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Re: Rommel

Postby Gerard Heimann » Thu Oct 30, 2014 5:57 pm

Rommel's knowledge and tacit approval of the assassination attempt on Hitler would probably have had a mitigating effect on not being tried.

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Re: Rommel

Postby Matrose71 » Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:10 am

I think it was far more.

He was an accessory of war crimes, he also knew partly of the Holocaust (he told his son about this).

But he was involved at the 20. July 1944, he was the man who ordered to exchange the jewish prisoners of Bir Hakeim 1942, before they could go to the continent.
He was supreme commander of North Italy before he was commanded to France and was clearly rejecting the clear brutal orders against partisans.

So I think in his late years he was a clear opponent of the Nazi system/Hitler, but he is also guilty from morality. To my very personal opinion he was in summer 1944 the most dangerous inside enemy to Hitler, because he was one of the rare personalities with the power, respect and most important the authority to realy change given history. He was to me the only General who would be able to create a rebellion of the Wehrmacht (mostly the western front), which had the chance, that the majority of officers and soldiers would follow his lead.

We know today from primary english sources that he had such plans in summer 1944, it is even verified that Sepp Dietrich stated he would follow his lead and orders at such a rebellion.

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Dave Saxton
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Re: Rommel

Postby Dave Saxton » Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:21 pm

Matrose71 wrote:, he was the man who ordered to exchange the jewish prisoners of Bir Hakeim 1942, before they could go to the continent.
He was supreme commander of North Italy before he was commanded to France and was clearly rejecting the clear brutal orders against partisans.



I heard an interesting account from a member of his staff in Africa, who later became a US citizen. According to this man Rommel ignored orders from Hitler to shoot all jewish POWs in Africa.

He was an accessory of war crimes, he also knew partly of the Holocaust (he told his son about this).


However, I think any detailed knowlege came from Spiedel as late as 1944. In such a system there are limits to what any one man can do. Even, or especially, someone in Rommel's position. And he apparently did more than most to avoid get caught up in the war crimes of the National Socialist regime.
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Re: Rommel

Postby tommy303 » Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:24 am

I certainly agree with what has been said, particularly by Dave. As something of an aside thought, Rommel's reputation definitely benefited from both the German press and the legend built up around him, not to mention the fact that he did not survive the war and was a victim of the Nazi State. It was helpful too that he was a corps, army, and army group commander and not a theatre commander, being subordinate to others such as Generale d'Armata Italo Gariboldi in North Afrika, Field Marshal Kesselring whilst in Italy following the Italian surrender, and von Rundstedt in France. That he may have known some details of the July 20 plot or at least the German resistance movement, certainly helped his posthumous and postwar reputation. However, had he survived the war and laid down his arms along with the rest of the armed forces, the Allies might have been inclined to delve more deeply into his wartime and ante-bellum career and actions, and his close association with and support of Hitler just prior to and during the early years of the war, might well have landed him before the de-nazification courts even if he was not charged with war crimes or crimes against humanity.

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RF
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Re: Rommel

Postby RF » Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:30 pm

Steve Crandell wrote:
paul.mercer wrote:Gentlemen,
Yet another question for you! After the war a number of senior German military were tried at Nuremberg including Keitel and Manstein, if Rommel had survived the war would he also have been put on trial?


As far as I know he wasn't implicated in any war crimes.


Neither were officers such as Guderian, and no charges were ever brought against him. Without Guderian there would have been no panxer divisions, no blitzkrieg, quite possibly no World War.
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RF
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Re: Rommel

Postby RF » Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:34 pm

Matrose71 wrote:I think it was far more.

He was an accessory of war crimes, he also knew partly of the Holocaust (he told his son about this).


In what way was he an accessory? He was not involved personally in the commission of war crimes, he may certainly have had knowledge of them, but he was in no position to stop war crimes being committed by forces outside his immediate command.
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RF
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Re: Rommel

Postby RF » Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:41 pm

tommy303 wrote:.... the Allies might have been inclined to delve more deeply into his wartime and ante-bellum career and actions, and his close association with and support of Hitler just prior to and during the early years of the war, might well have landed him before the de-nazification courts even if he was not charged with war crimes or crimes against humanity.


Specifically on what grounds would he be brought before a West German de-nazification court?

Where specific war crimes were not involved, these courts were concerned with breaches of German law in force at the time offences were committed, such as the murder of German and other civilians.
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RF
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Re: Rommel

Postby RF » Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:51 pm

tommy303 wrote: the Allies might have been inclined to delve more deeply into his wartime and ante-bellum career and actions, and his close association with and support of Hitler just prior to and during the early years of the war


Taken literally that could apply to any millions of Germans in the Third Reich not personally involved in war crimes, even to the point of saying that all those who voted for the NSDAP during 1930 to 1933 were culpable in the acts of the Third Reich.

I am reminded of an article in my local evening newspaper recently, where it was recorded that in 1936 there was a visit to my home town of Wolverhampton by some German veteran servicemen from the Great War, who laid a wreath at a nearby cemetery of German war dead, and were photographed giving the Nazi salute to their dead comrades. At the time the picture of the salute provoked no comment, it was seemingly regarded as an appropriate gesture of respect. It wouldn't of course be today.
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tommy303
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Re: Rommel

Postby tommy303 » Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:31 pm

A good many lesser generals underwent the post war denazification trials, including Rommel's former Afrika Corps chief of staff, Fritz Bayerlein. It is probable that Rommel record might have been investigated and he might have some explaining to do, particularly being one of the select few field marshals of the Reich. In particular, as inspectorate general for the Atlantic wall, he would have been aware of the use of forced labour in its ongoing contruction up to D-Day.

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Re: Rommel

Postby tommy303 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:33 am

That Rommel, had he survived the war, might have stood trial, either in the de-nazification courts or one of the lesser military tribunals following the main Nurnberg trials is a statistical possibility. Of the German WW2 Field marshals, a total of 26, Rommel, von Bock, von Busch, Model, von Greim, von Richthofen, von Witzleben, von Kluge, and von Reichenau died during or just after the end of the war; two, Goering and Keitel were sentenced to death at Nurnberg (with Goering committing suicide the night before he was to be hanged), von Brauchitsch died before he could be prosecuted, and all the others except for von Paulus and von Blomberg were charged with various crimes. Von Rundtstedt was never put on trial due to health reasons, while Sperrle was found innocent. It is hard to say if Rommel might have been charged. It would seem the British had no plans to do so, but the US might have as they did try several over British protests. If he had survived and been charged, he might like Sperrle have been found innocent.

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Re: Rommel

Postby aurora » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:25 pm

From what I have read of the "murky" situation of the Plot to assassinate Hitler-Rommel was asked to participate in the coup ,but declined. However he did not inform Hitler of this; and was therefore deemed guilty of conspiracy by remaining silent. :silenced:
Quo Fata Vocant-Whither the Fates call

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