Would Rommel be a War Criminal?

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Hexar
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Post by Hexar » 21 Sep 2006 10:14

All this talk of Rommel, I think we need a good picture of him for this thread. This image is a postcard from an online auction service that specializes in them and old postage stamps. Hexar
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tonyh
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Post by tonyh » 21 Sep 2006 13:39

Peter H wrote:Rommel's final home at Herrlingen was a confiscated Jewish property.
Any reliable source for that?

Tony

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 22 Sep 2006 14:33

Tony,

David Irving's The Trail of the Fox,page 445(internet version):
The new Rommel family home would soon be ready. In 1942 the
state had confiscated a villa in Herrlingen which was a Jewish old
peoples’ home and begun converting it as a night refuge for the
mayor of Ulm when the air raids began. But the Party had accused
the mayor of “desertion” of his city, so the villa and its spacious
grounds were still vacant.
Rommel intially rented the property but later got the title.

Regards
Peter

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Post by tommy303 » 22 Sep 2006 19:37

I believe one of the benefits of achieving the rank of Generalfeldmarschall was, among other things, a permanent residence was provided at state expense, which might be how Rommel came by the title.

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dabbydo
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Post by dabbydo » 22 Sep 2006 20:15

I find the question "would Rommel be a war criminal" a little hard to interpret. He was not considered to be a war criminal by the allies. He did not do anything that could be considered a war crime, so what is the point? Was he anti-semitic, or was he a supporter of the regime seems more open to debate because there just isn't much to suggest he was ever a war criminal or endorsed criminal behaviour. I just don't see the point in this thread due to a lack of evidence.
Had he survived the war, the allies may have considered him a criminal but we'll never know that either. Was he even considered as a possible candidate by the Allies at the time they started compiling their list of war criminals?

Have a nice day!

David :)

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Der Alte
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Post by Der Alte » 22 Sep 2006 21:03

The Myth Feldmarschal still spooks

Controversial he still is, both a gifted tactician and unconventional commander, a product of wartime propaganda (Göbbels and Churchill did sterling work).

Charging him with warcrimes or crimes against humanity postwar would have been possible, but then every other Wehrmacht officer would share his guilt, waging war for an inhuman dictator.

His moral standards were very high indeed, Monty and Patton told their troops to kill as many germans as possible, a verbiage Rommel never did use. His goal were the annihilation of the enemy army as an fighting force, not its personel. It was about glory, booty and prisoners. As mentioned before he didnt care much about the commando order and the jewish soldiers who surrendered didnt get special treatment.

He did admire Hitler and held him in the highest regard, but like no other he ignored his orders and got away with it, he was disliked by his peers and he in turn disliked the "General staff type officers". Envy is universal.

A complex personality, full of dash and energy on the offensive - then the fortunes turn - although his retreat from El Amain to Tunis was a fighting retreat, its short off the "opportunism", surprise and daring used cunningly in the eastward direction.

On the other hand Rommel was the man planned/hoped for to fill the void after Hitler if Stauffenberg had succeded in killing GröFaZ (Grösster Feldherr aller Zeiten, (Greatest Commander in history?))

A spimple minded soldier

Holger

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kamehouse
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Post by kamehouse » 22 Sep 2006 21:32

People like Heinz Guderian or Kurt Meyer(amongst others) didn't fight for Hitler anymore at some point of the war but for the fatherland,for their comrades on the front,for the people they knew would suffer if the army would be defeated.
Even Dietrich didn't believe in Hitler at the end.
Anyway to go back to the subject i certainly think if Rommel could have been a war criminal,there would have been a lot of writings about it.
He was a very good general and the allies in the tradition of galantery and chivalry had a lot of respect for the man.
How many german general can claim that?
P.S:this is my first post so don't be too hard on me if i made some mistakes.
K

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Penn44
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Post by Penn44 » 22 Sep 2006 23:57

Unless someone can point to a specific law of land warfare that Rommel broke, I suggest we abandon the idle speculation.


Some posters have attempted a discussion of alleged moral guil of Rommelt. The topic at hand deals with Rommel's alleged criminal guilt, and the two, moral versus criminal guilt are not necessary the same.

Penn44

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Der Alte
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Post by Der Alte » 23 Sep 2006 00:15

Hi Kamehouse

Rommel was Adolfs pet-Feldmarschal, he had access to him via f.ex. Alfred Bernd, a NS official of the propaganda ministry attached to the staff of the DAK. Fact is that Rommel was instrumentalized by Göbbels and was not adverse to it, more than likely he enjoyed it. Ambitous to the extreme, keen on medals and promotions he used it for his own ends.

About the warcrime charges, I guess its politics, if Rommel had lived and the allies wished him behind bars they could have done it - hang him would not have been easy.

Guderian had some hefty disagreements with Adolf, Rommel had some too, but he was or was percieved to be closer to Adolf than Guderian. Rommel was hailed as a new type of officer, unlike old Rundstedt he was not upholding the "prussian" apolitical standing. He never joined the NSDAP, he was a devout christian and admired/followed Adolf all the same. No traceable conflict is seen until the tide has turned and a german victory is impossible, Rommel knows it and is very open about it, he is even brave enough to confront Adolf with the fact more than once.

An hounorable soldier of the simple military minded ambitous type

Holger

tonyh
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Post by tonyh » 23 Sep 2006 05:08

Peter H wrote:Tony,

David Irving's The Trail of the Fox,page 445(internet version):
The new Rommel family home would soon be ready. In 1942 the
state had confiscated a villa in Herrlingen which was a Jewish old
peoples’ home and begun converting it as a night refuge for the
mayor of Ulm when the air raids began. But the Party had accused
the mayor of “desertion” of his city, so the villa and its spacious
grounds were still vacant.
Rommel intially rented the property but later got the title.

Regards
Peter
Hmmmm, must have missed that tidbit in "Trail of the fox".

I'm surprised none of the usual suspects haven't jumped down your throat for quoting David Irving OMG!!!!!! :wink:

Tony

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dabbydo
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Post by dabbydo » 23 Sep 2006 13:25

It doesn't seem like there is much to support a notion of Rommel being a war criminal as far as the Allies are concerned. The only "criminal" allegations against him come from the nazi regime for Rommels involvement in the 20 July assassination attempt against Hitler.
It seems that his "enemies" the Allies, had less against him than his "friends" in the Third Reich!
I guess the question would be "Rommel:traitor and criminal or patriot". :?

David

tonyh
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Post by tonyh » 23 Sep 2006 15:50

Well, whatever Rommel was, he was obviously a traitor, if he indeed did have solid connection to the July 20th plotters.

Tony

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Penn44
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Post by Penn44 » 23 Sep 2006 17:32

Since the speculating hasn't stop, I'll take a plunge. Using the concept of command responsibility, the Western Allies could have held Rommel responsible for the actions as the 12th SS Division during Rommel's time as commander of German forces in that area of France in June and July 1944.


Penn44

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dabbydo
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Post by dabbydo » 23 Sep 2006 18:24

Penn44 wrote:Since the speculating hasn't stop, I'll take a plunge. Using the concept of command responsibility, the Western Allies could have held Rommel responsible for the actions as the 12th SS Division during Rommel's time as commander of German forces in that area of France in June and July 1944.


Penn44

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It's hard not to speculate because as far as I know Rommel was not ever put on a war crimes list by the allies. That makes the question of would he be a war criminal a little bit empty on the prosecuting side, but the defenders of Rommel have a lot on their side because of a lack of evidence suggesting he committed war crimes.
I think the Allies started a list in 1942, and so far I haven't been able to find a reference as to whether or not he was considered a war criminal. That is why I think the topic won't work too well as is. The only crime he committed for certain was in the 20 July conspiracy, and that is more open to debate for me because I think he was a patriot. Others think he was a traitor. If he was a war criminal it would be agiainst his own armed forces, not the allies.

Thanks,

David

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kamehouse
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Post by kamehouse » 23 Sep 2006 22:08

Penn44 wrote:Since the speculating hasn't stop, I'll take a plunge. Using the concept of command responsibility, the Western Allies could have held Rommel responsible for the actions as the 12th SS Division during Rommel's time as commander of German forces in that area of France in June and July 1944.


Penn44

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Do you mean the NCO who was beaten unconscious and in a blood covered condition tied to a tank as a shield?
Oh no... hold on that was Oberst Luxemburger attached to a british tank from the british" Inns of Court"regiment.
And i thought all was black and white,good or evil..i am so confused now.
The geneva convention wasn't taken very seriously by either side i am afraid.
Anyway if Kurt Meyer was freed by the canadian i don't see why Rommel wouldn't have been?
:P
K

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