The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Cooper, Matthew, _The German Army 1933-1945: Its Political and
Military Failure_, 1990, p. 556.

In 1944, the only serving field-marshal who seemed prepared to act
against Hitler was Rommel. After his unhappy experiance of the
Fu"hrer's interference during the North African campaign, and on his
return to Europe in March 1943, where he came to the conclusion that
total victory was now beyond Germany's grasp, Rommel became
incresingly disillusioned. The conspirators went to work on him at the
end of 1943, after he had become commander of Army Group B in the
west, and by March 1944 it seemed as if Rommel was set against Hitler.
However, he differed from the conspirators by believing that it was
foolish to do away with Hitler, fearing that the Fu"hrer's aura and
also his political aides would remain strong after his death; instead
argued that, once it was clear that the Allies had secured a foothold
on the Continent, the soldiers in the west should negotiate a
surrender and allow an immediate Allied occupation which would keep
the Soviets out of Germany. Such was his plan, and he described the
attempt of 20 July as 'stupid'. How Rommel would have acted, however,
is pure speculation, for, on 17 July, he sufered severe wounds from an
air attack and was invalided home. After the Bomb Plot, evidence was
gathered that revealed his links with the conspirators, and Hitler
ordered his death; on 14 October, two generals arrived at Rommel's
home, took him away in their car, and gave him poison with which to
kill himself. To avoid difficulties for his family, the Field-Marshal
did as he was requested. For propaganda reasons the real cause of his
death was kept secret, and the German nation, told that he had finally
succumbed to his wounds, was treated to the spectacle of his state
funeral.


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