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GERMANY: Roimmel and Hitler

German historian Christian Leitz said "Field Marshal Erwin Rommel never actually resisted the Nazi regime", This is contrary to the general version, and Paul Simon protested. Christian replies: "I am not surprised that my remark has encountered disagreement; there are certainly plenty of Germans who would also disagree with my comment about Rommel. Still, I maintain that Rommel never joined the resisters (Stauffenberg, Goerdeler, Beck, etc.) who plotted to kill Hitler on 20 July 1944 and bring down the Nazi regime. He was certainly in touch with some of the resistance members, but ultimately kept his distance from the plot. Rommel's despicable death (and the repercussions his family faced) largely came about because he lost faith in Germany's ability to win the war (a rather belated discovery) and told Hitler so. Hitler was clearly furious (also, if I remember correctly, because Rommel tried to convince the dictator to come to an agreement with the Western Allies), but could not simply get rid of Germany's most popular war hero in the usual manner. Hence the public version of Rommel's death as a tragic accident and the state funeral that followed".

Ronald Hilton - 1/19/03