The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/r/rommel.erwin/bomb-plot-01


Shirer, William, _The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich_, 1959.
p. 1031:

   Rommel hesitated and finally made his decision.
   
   "I believe," he said to Stroelin, "it is my duty to come to the
   rescue of Germany."
   
   At this meeting [near the end of February 1944] and at all
   subsequent ones which Rommel had with the plotters, he opposed
   assassinating Hitler -- not on moral but on practical grounds.  To
   kill the dictator, he argued, would be to make a martyr of him. 
   He insisted that Hitler be arrested by the Army and haled before a
   German court for crimes against his own people and those of the
   occupied lands.

pp. 1041-2:

   On July 15 Rommel wrote a long letter to Hitler and dispatched it
   by Army teletype.  "The troops," he wrote, "are fighting
   heroically everywhere, but the unequal struggle is nearing its
   end."  He added a postscript in his own handwriting:
   
      I must beg you to draw the proper conclusions without delay. 
      I feel it my duty as Commander in Chief of the Army Group to
      state this clearly.
   
   "I have given him his last chance," Rommel told Speidel.  "If he
   does not take it, we will act."
   
   Two days later, on the afternoon of July 17, while driving back to
   headquarters from the Normandy front, Rommel's staff car was shot
   up by low-flying Allied fighter planes and he was so critically
   wounded that it was first thought he would not survive the day. 
   This was a disaster to the conspirators, for Rommel had now --
   Speidel swears to it -- made up his mind irrevocably to do his
   part in ridding Germany of Hitler's rule (though still opposing
   his assassination) within the next few days.  As it turned out,
   his dash and daring were sorely missing among the Army officers
   who, at long last, as the German armies crumbled in the East and
   West that July of 1944, made their final bid to bring Hitler and
   National Socialism down.


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