The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man… Thomas Robert MALTHUS

All About Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel(13)…

Plot against Hitler

There had always been opposition to Hitler in conservative circles and in the Army, the Schwarze Kapelle (Black Orchestra), but Hitler’s dazzling successes in 1938–1941 had stifled it. However, after the Russian campaign failed, and the Axis suffered more defeats, this opposition underwent a revival.


Early in 1944, three of Rommel’s closest friends—Karl Strölin, Alexander von Falkenhausen and Carl Heinrich von Stuelpnagel—began efforts to bring Rommel into the conspiracy. They felt that as by far the most popular officer in Germany, he would lend their cause badly-needed credibility with the populace. Additionally, they had yet to garner the support of an active-duty field marshal. Erwin von Witzleben, who would have become commander-in-chief of the Wehrmacht if Hitler had been overthrown, was a field marshal, but had not been on active duty since 1942. Sometime in February, Rommel agreed to lend his support to the conspiracy in order to, as he put it, „come to the rescue of Germany.”

Rommel, however, opposed assassinating Hitler. After the war, his widow (among others) maintained that Rommel believed an assassination attempt would spark civil war in Germany and Austria and Hitler would have become a martyr for a lasting cause. Instead, Rommel insisted that Hitler be arrested and brought to trial for his crimes. By the time of his head injuries, Rommel had made up his mind to do his part to get rid of Hitler.

After the failed bomb attack of 20 July, many conspirators were arrested and the dragnet expanded to anyone even suspected of participating. Rommel was fairly perturbed at this development, telling Hans Speidel that Hitler’s behavior after the attack proved that the dictator had „gone completely mad”. It did not take long, however, for Rommel’s involvement to come to light. His name was first mentioned when Stuelpnagel blurted it out after a botched suicide attempt. Later, another conspirator, Caesar von Hofacker, admitted under Gestapo torture that Rommel was actively involved.

Even more damningly, Carl Goerdeler, the main civilian leader of the Resistance, wrote on several letters and other documents that Rommel was a potential supporter and an acceptable military leader to be placed in a position of responsibility should their coup succeed. Nazi party officials in France reported that Rommel extensively and scornfully criticised Nazi incompetence and crimes…


3 responses

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    26 aprilie 2011 la 3:02 AM

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